Centre seeks Review on SC’s Judgment quashing extension of OBC quotas to JAT Community

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Last year, the UPA government, granted OBC status to Jats belonged to nine states which include Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, contrary to the recommendations given by National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

On 17-03-2015, The Hon’ble Supreme Court refused the Centre’s decision to include JAT community in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category that provided reservations in jobs and educational institutions and therefore, now jats are considered as general category candidates.

The National Democratic Alliance government (NDA) filed review Petition against the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Judgement dated 17-03-2015 for reinstatement of OBC status to Jat Community.

SC in its judgment dated 17-03-2015 stated that UPA government providing reservation quotas at the time closer to the general elections was purely an evidence of its conventional mode of governance to attract the possible votes from one community.

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On the other hand, NDA government, fully backing up the decision of the UPA government on this issue, has filed a review Petition by taking a stand that it is the centre’s responsibility under Article 16(4) of the Constitution to take initiatives to bring in the Jats into the Central OBC list and providing the reservation in educational institutions and jobs.

 Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh, who finalized the review Petition, claimed that the basis for Apex Court’s decision of refusing the OBC status to JATs, mainly relied on the report of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), for which Centre responded that the Centre’s power to grant quota for a community cannot be based on NCBC’s recommendation, and the same is not binding on the government. Therefore, Centre responded that the Supreme Court has erred in holding the view that NCBC recommendation is binding on the government.

The Supreme Court in its stated that NCBC’s report shows that it has advised the then government with sufficient reasons and reasonable basis of its decision against the grant of status of OBC status to the JATs.  The report stated that the said community was not socially and economically backward to entitle a share in 27% OBC quota in jobs and for admission in educational institutions. The SC also observed the community has its adequate representation in armed forces, government services and educational institutions.  The SC also observed that “wrong inclusion of a cast in an OBC list cannot be a basis for further wrong inclusions in the said list.”

On the Petitioner side, OP Sindhu, President, representative of Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, told that they file review petition against the SC judgment, and if they not succeeded in review proceedings, they would take up the matter to streets and do protests.

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By Anitha Gutti