Supreme Court quashes 27% OBC reservation in Maharashtra Zilla Parishad polls, says total reservation ceiling of 50% can’t be breached

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March 5, 2021 10:57 AM

The SC judgement came in response to petitions challenging Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961.

SCYediyurappa also contended that the HC should have appreciated that he was not named as an accused in the private complaint.

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) is only statutory, unlike the constitutional reservation for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), which is linked to the proportion of the population. The apex court also ruled that the extent of reservation given to the OBC in local bodies should not be such that it takes total reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs to over 50 per cent ceiling.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi said in its judgement that if constitutional reservation provided for SCs and STs consume the entire 50 per cent of seats in the concerned local bodies, the question of providing further reservation to OBCs in such local bodies would not arise at all, reported The Indian Express.

The bench gave the judgment while hearing petitions challenging Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961, which mandated that the state provide 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in local bodies. The petitioners have also questioned the State Election Commission’s notification which provided reservation exceeding 50 per cent in Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis of Nagpur, Bhandara, Washim and Akola districts.

According to LiveLaw, the court opined that the rigid interpretation of the state’s provision “would be violative of the dictum laid down by the Constitution bench in K. Krishna Murthy (Dr.) & Ors. v. Union of India 2010) 7 SCC 202”. They had also ruled that State legislation providing reservation to OBCs must ensure that the aggregate vertical reservation concerning SCs/STs/OBCs should not exceed 50 per cent.

The court also nullified the Election Commission’s notifications to the extent concerned with providing the reservation to OBCs in the local bodies’ seats.

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