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Centre considering moving review petition in SC to allow reservation of OBCs in local body polls

The Supreme Court has directed the State Election Commission (SEC) of Maharashtra to notify 27 percent seats in the local body, which were reserved for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), as general category so that the poll process can be taken forward.

By: PTI | Delhi |
December 21, 2021 11:32:23 am
RTE act, RTEThe PIL said it is the duty of the Union to effectuate a common education system (File)

The Centre has said it considering moving a review petition before the Supreme Court to allow political reservation of OBCs in local bodies and municipal corporations for the time being till the states comply with the triple test criteria set forth by the apex court.

The development comes after the Supreme Court decided to strike down the recent 27 percent reservation in favour of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in local bodies made by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments.

“In this connection, states are being advised to follow the reservation policy as per provisions of the Constitution in the election to the local bodies after observing all the criteria set forth by the Supreme Court,” the Social Justice and Empowerment ministry said in a statement issued late Monday night.

The ministry said it is also considering moving a review petition before the Supreme Court to allow political reservation of OBCs in the local bodies and municipal corporations for the time being till the States comply with the triple test criteria set forth by the top court.

The triple test includes setting up a dedicated commission to conduct a contemporaneous rigorous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness as regards local bodies within the state. The second condition is to specify the proportion of reservation required to be provisioned local body-wise as per recommendations of the commission, and the third test is that the reservation should not exceed an aggregate of 50 percent of the seats reserved in favour of SCs, STs and OBCs taken together.

The Centre said it is concerned about the matter and is examining the issue in its entirety taking into account the opinion of all stakeholders including the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Parliamentary Affairs, the Department of Legal Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Supreme Court has directed the State Election Commission (SEC) of Maharashtra to notify 27 percent seats in the local body, which were reserved for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), as general category so that the poll process can be taken forward.

Also, the apex court on Friday directed the Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) to stay the poll process on seats reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the local body there and re-notify those seats for the general category.

Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Monday had claimed that panchayat polls in her party-ruled Madhya Pradesh without reservation for the OBCs will be injustice with about 70 percent of the state’s population. She urged state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to find a way out that these polls are not held without ensuring the participation of the OBCs.

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