The Supreme Court order of Tuesday quashing reservation for Jats in the central list will also have an implication on grant of reservation to the community in Haryana. Already, a petition challenging the inclusion of Jats in special backward classed (SBCc) is pending before the Punjab and Haryana high court.
While rejecting the request for inclusion of Jats in the central list of other backward classes (OBCs), the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) trashed the report of Haryana Backward Classes Commission (HBCC) which recommended 10% special backward class (SBC) quota for Jats, Jat Sikhs, Bishnois, Rors and Tyagis.
The report of the HBCC, headed by retired Justice KC Gupta, was thoroughly examined and studied by the NCBC and Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR).
The Haryana government in 2013 had implemented the controversial recommendations of the HBCC in a bid to appease the Jats, thereby taking the reservation in the state beyond 50%, a decision unlikely to stand legal scrutiny as the Supreme Court in its 1992 judgment in Indira Sawhney and others versus Union of India and others has held that the reservations contemplated in clause (4) of Article 16 should not exceed 50%.
In its advice to the central government, the NCBC said the biggest flaw in the HBCC report was that the study conducted by the Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak, on which the HBCC report was primarily based, was selective in nature.
The NCBC also said that the HBCC did not follow one of the cardinal principles of natural justice as two of its members -- Jai Singh Bishnoi and Som Dutt, a Ror -- had interests in the outcome of the case since both the castes were under consideration. “A man shall not be judge in his case,” the NCBC said.
The NCBC said that while highlighting the fact that Jats were not proportionately represented in government jobs, the MDU survey forgot to study the representation of Jats in armed forces. “What has been studied only is their representation in direct civil and allied services and classes 1 to 4 government services,” the NCBC said.
“It is well known that Jats -- both Sikhs and Hindus -- were among the communities well represented in the armed forces, including the officer category. One would have expected the HBCC, which has given 37 tables besides the annexures, also to give statistics of representation of different communities in the armed forces, particularly in the officer category. Its omission cannot be rationally explained and it can be presumed that had those statistics been provided, the case of Jats of Haryana for inclusion in the list of backward classes would have completely fallen flat,” the NCBC said.
Elaborating on the MDU survey, the commission said the university collected data on 27 social, 12 educational and 10 economic indicators. These were compared across 16 castes and rankings were given to each caste based on their performance on each of the indicators. Of the 16 castes studied in the MDU survey, five were those which were under present consideration. Of the remaining 11 castes examined, there were no castes which are comparable to Jats.
The comparable figures of Ahirs, Yadavs, Kurmis and Gujjars, which are said to be comparable to OBCs and predominantly land-owning communities, have not been studied at all for any social, educational or economic parameters either in the MDU report or HBCC report.
Jats have been compared mostly with Rajputs, Brahmins, Maithilis, Goswamis, Gaurs, Punjabi Vaish, which are traditionally considered as forward castes. Their comparison with other OBCs like Gujjars, Ahirs, Yadavs and Kurmis is sorely lacking, thus leaving a big question mark on the selective collection of data by the surveying agency.