Yogi govt may move SC against HC’s OBC quota ruling for civic polls

UP government is committed to providing quota to OBCs in urban local bodies, says minister Sharma.

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By: TNI Team | Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
Updated: 27 December, 2022 5:13 pm IST
UP Cabinet minister Arvind Kumar Sharma speaking to reporters in Lucknow. (TNI photo)

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s government may challenge the Allahabad high court’s order quashing reservation to other backward communities (OBCs) in the urban local body polls, informed UP minister AK Sharma.

The Uttar Pradesh government is committed to providing quota to OBCs in the local body elections, Sharma asserted even as the Lucknow bench of the high court set aside a December 5 notification proposing reservation for these communities.

“The honourable high court has delivered its judgement regarding the urban local body elections. The government will complete the triple test process and provide reservation to OBCs in these elections,” he told reporters in Lucknow.

The bureaucrat-turned-politician further said that the state government will form a commission to come up with recommendations regarding the matter.

He further said, “We are studying the legal issues involved in this matter. If necessary, we may also approach the Supreme Court. The government will not conduct the local urban body polls without ensuring reservation to OBCs.”

In its judgement, a division bench of Justices Devendra Kumar Upadhyay and Saurabh Lavania directed the government to hold the elections without quota to OBCs, scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs).

The high court ruled that the Yogi government could not issue the notification for OBC reservation without fulfilling the three conditions laid down by the top court in 2010.

Widely known as the ‘triple test’, the three conditions mandate the constitution of a dedicated panel to carry out a rigorous inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness quota and to specify the proportion of quota required to be provided in local body polls as per the commission’s recommendations. It also says that the overall reservation to OBCs should not exceed overall 50% reserved for SCs/STs/OBCs.

In its ruling, the high court ordered the state government to set up a commission for the study needed to provide empirical data for the provision of OBC reservation in the next civic polls. It also asked the government to include transgender people in the OBC quota list.

Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said that the government will take a decision after a detailed study and consultations with legal experts. “However, no comprises will be made with regard to the interests of OBCs,” tweeted Maurya, who is considered the BJP’s OBC face in the Yogi government.

The opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) was quick to launch an attack on the BJP government, calling the party “anti-reservation”. Speaking to reporters, SP president and former CM Akhilesh Yadav accused the state government of not arguing its case in the court properly.

“OBCs would have secured quota had the state government argued the case in a better manner. Samajwadi Party has always been in favour of a caste-based census. BJP does not want it to happen because they fear that people of different castes will get to know about their caste’s strength. If necessary, Samajwadi Party would approach the Supreme Court,” he said.

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