August 1, 2021 12:39:06 am
Maharashtra on Saturday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking empirical data on other backward classes (OBC) from the Union government.
On March 4, the SC had quashed 27 per cent OBC quota in local bodies for want of empirical data on the backwardness of the community.
“Today, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government filed a petition in Supreme Court urging it to direct the Centre to furnish empirical data on OBC. This would help in restoring OBC reservation in local bodies,” Food and Civil Supplies Minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal told mediapersons.
Reiterating the government’s commitment to OBC quota, Bhujbal said, “When Devendra Fadnavis was the chief minister of Maharashtra, he had written to the Centre seeking empirical data on the community. Then minister for rural development, Pankaja Munde, had also sought data from the concerned department. The correspondence in 2019 by the BJP leaders did not elicit favorable response from thee Centre.”
In March, the SC had struck down Maharashtra government’s 1994 amendment of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti Act, 1961, reserving 27 per cent seats in local bodies for OBC. The quota was applicable for all urban (municipal corporations and councils), rural (zilla parishad and panchayat samitis) local bodies.
While giving the verdict, the SC had pointed out that the state government can give reservation to the OBC in local bodies after setting up a dedicated backward class commission to conduct rigorous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of backwardness of the community.
“In accordance with court’s directives, the government has already constituted Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission to pursue empirical data on the community,” said Bhujbal.
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