SC restrains Rajasthan from bringing in Gujjar quota
The Supreme Court disposed of Rajasthan’s appeal against a high court order prohibiting the government from enacting the provisions in the OBC reservation bill 2017, aimed at increasing the ceiling of the quota beyond 50% for the benefit of the agitating Gujjars.india Updated: Nov 15, 2017 22:44 IST
In a setback to the Rajasthan government, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday that the state cannot cross the 50% ceiling while providing reservation to backward classes.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra issued the direction while disposing of the state government’s appeal against the high court order prohibiting the government from enacting the provisions in the OBC reservation bill, 2017, aimed at increasing the ceiling of the quota beyond 50% for the benefit of the agitating Gujjars and four other communities. The HC order was passed on November 9.
The SC, however, accepted the government’s stand that the HC could not have stopped the legislative process and set aside that portion of the order.
“...taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case and various decisions of this court, we are inclined to restrain the state government from taking any action or decision on the administrative side or in any manner conferring the benefit of reservation, which will have the result of crossing the total reservation beyond 50%,” the SC ordered.
This direction will operate until the high court decides the petition challenging the promulgation of the bill.
The Rajasthan high court had on November 9 restrained the government from implementing the OBC reservation bill, 2017. The court was of the view that the state must take prior permission of the top court before going ahead with introducing the new provisions that would have breached the ceiling fixed by the SC for reservation.
The high court criticised the state for adopting a “populist approach”, saying it must proceed to get the Constitution amended instead of bringing in a piecemeal legislation.
The Rajasthan Assembly had last month passed a bill to raise the reservation limit for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from 21% to 26% with a voice vote following which the House was adjourned sine die.
The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, proposes 5% increase in the OBC quota.
Ganga Sahay Sharma, a petitioner, had challenged the move, saying that the state government is keen to implement the provisions in the bill, which would create complications. He also said that it would multiply litigation as the government would give employment against vacancies, which would lead to the creation of third-party rights.
First Published: Nov 15, 2017 22:44 IST