Rajasthan High Court ‘restrains’ government on Gujjar reservation Bill

Published on 10 Nov 2017 by Team

A bench of Justices K S Jhaveri and Vijay Kumar Vyas said that since the Supreme Court had already asked the state government to maintain status quo after the 2015 Gujjar reservation Bill was struck down by the Rajasthan High Court, “it will not be appropriate to allow the state government to do anything contrary to the Supreme Court’s order and they are restrained from acting upon the bill…”

The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, which was passed on this October 26, had sought to increase Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent, and create a separate category of ‘More Backward Classes’ for Banjara, Gadiya Lohar, Gujjar, Raika and Gadariya castes, giving them a five per cent reservation.

Pic Courtesy- Hindustan Times

Advocate G P Kaushik, petitioner for Ganga Sahay Sharma, said that the state government had introduced reservation for Gujjars in 2008 and in 2015 – and both were quashed by the High Court, mainly as they exceeded 50 per cent reservation limit set by the Supreme Court. “The latter was quashed on December 9 last year and the state government filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court; however, the government did not get a relief and the apex court asked the state government to maintain status quo,” Kaushik said. Hence, with the state government again exceeding 50 per cent limit, the court observed that it wanted to take a “populist view.”
Although the case was listed for November 13, an application was moved on the grounds that the state government may come out with a notification and create further complications; the court viewed these apprehensions “very seriously,” and heard it on Thursday.

The Bill was passed in assembly last month amid stiff opposition by some BJP legislators. Terming it “eyewash”, BJP MLA Prahlad Gunjal had said that, “the entire House – and entire Rajasthan – knows the future of this Bill.” Meanwhile, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot said that BJP government has now brought the Gujjar reservation bill thrice and has been unsuccessful each time. He accused the state government of mala fide intentions, stating that, “the state had the benefit of a BJP government both here and in Centre and hence it should have moved to include the law in Ninth Schedule of the Constitution (to make it immune to judicial scrutiny).” Hamza Khan

Source- Indian Express

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