HC strikes down GR to include two sub-castes in OBCs
Thousands belonging to the Vaishyawani and Kulwantwani sub-castes can no longer avail benefits of reservation extended to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), as the Bombay High Court on Friday struck down a government resolution (GR) issued in August 1995, for including the sub-castes in OBCs.mumbai Updated: Oct 02, 2010 01:36 IST
Thousands belonging to the Vaishyawani and Kulwantwani sub-castes can no longer avail benefits of reservation extended to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), as the Bombay High Court on Friday struck down a government resolution (GR) issued in August 1995, for including the sub-castes in OBCs.
The division bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice RM Sawant, however, left the decision about the fate of several others from these sub-castes, who have already reaped the benefits of reservation, to the state government.
“We are not expressing any opinion about the repercussions of the decision of quashing the GR, and leave it to the discretion of the state government," observed the bench.
While striking down the GR, the bench stated, “This GR can't be given effect to since mandatory procedure as laid down by the Apex Court in Indira Sahni's case (better known as the Mandal case) has not been followed. It can't withstand judicial scrutiny."
The apex court had further observed in Indira Sahni's case that such changes should be necessarily based on firm findings of some study group or a commission set up by state governments.
The issue about the validity of the GR had cropped up in cross petitions filed by former BMC corporator Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and his political rival Suryakant Thakur.
While Mahadeshwar had challenged a decision of the Konkan Caste Scrutiny Committee, which invalidated his caste claim of being an OBC, Thakur had challenged validity of the GR relied by Mahadeshwar, a Vaishyawani from Sindhudurg district, for claiming to be an OBC.
The state government had tried to justify its decision by contending that it was a policy decision taken to include the sub-castes Vaishyawani and Kulwantwani in the list of OBCs.
The court, however, discarded the contention observing that whether it was a policy decision or not, the state could not have issued such a GR without following the procedure prescribed by the Supreme Court.