Expressing “sanguine hope” that the Election Commission will keep in mind the spirit of the Constitution, the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Maharashtra government to reserve 27% seats for the Other Backward Classes in the upcoming local body polls.
A bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, Abhay Oka and JB Pardiwala accepted the 781-page report of the commission led by former chief secretary Jayant Banthia and allowed 27% reservation for OBCs in the nagar panchayat, nagar parishad and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections.
“We direct the Election Commission and all the state authorities to ensure that the election process in respect of each of these local bodies is immediately commenced in accord with the recommendation made by the Dedicated Commission; and is taken forward on the basis of the directions given by this court,” the court said.
The court was hearing applications filed in the petitions challenging the introduction of 27% OBC reservation in the local body elections in the state. Last year, the Supreme Court stayed the OBC quota on the ground that the “triple-tests” for implementing reservation in elections have not been satisfied. The triple tests rule, formulated by the Court in 2010, requires formation of an independent commission to collect empirical data and ensure that the number of quota seats do not exceed the 50% ceiling.