R'sthan HC stays OBC Bill

R'sthan HC stays OBC Bill

R'sthan HC stays OBC Bill

The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday ordered a stay on the state government's bill seeking to increase reservation quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

The reservation bill, 2017, aims to increase the ceiling of the quota beyond 50% for Gujjars and four other communities.

Earlier, the state Assembly had passed a bill to raise the reservation for OBCs from 21% to 26%. With this, the total quota in the state for government jobs and seats in educational institutes would have increased to 54%, higher than the 50% ceiling set by the Supreme Court.

The Rajasthan Backward Classes Bill provides 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other communities. The other casts include Banjara/Baldia/Labana, Gadia-Lohar/Gadalia, Raika/Rebari and Gadaria.

On Thursday, a division bench of the court comprising justices K S Jhaveri and V S Vyas asked Advocate General Narpat Mal Lodha whether the state government wished to implement the provisions under the bill or keep these in abeyance till the matter was decided by the Supreme Court.

A petition filed by Ganga Sai Sharma had raised worries that the bill would multiply litigation as the government would give employment against vacancies, which will create third party rights. Therefore, it is necessary that the state government be restrained from giving effect to the amended provision in the bill to increase the OBC reservation ceiling beyond 50% for the Gujjars and the other communities.

Deciding on the petition, the bench criticised the government's approach, saying it must proceed to get the Constitution amended instead of bringing piecemeal legislations.

The court decided that the Rajasthan government must take prior permission of the apex court before implementing the new provisions sought to be introduced by the bill.

While making an observation, the court said that the Rajasthan government wanted to take a populist view and try to use it as a shield to increase reservation.