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A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar observed that 27 per cent OBC quota could not have been implemented without setting up a commission and without collecting data regarding the inadequacy of representation; local government wise.
It further said, "Without setting up Commission to collect data local government wise, it is not open to the State Election Commission to provide for reservation for the OBC category. That is the first step which ought to have been done."
It said that the State Election Commission cannot be permitted to proceed with the election program already notified with regard to the OBC reservation category but the rest of the election program can proceed for other reserved seats including the general category.
"Your political compulsion cannot be a ground to undermine our verdict," the Bench observed.
The Bench was hearing petitions challenging the Maharashtra Ordinance which introduced a 27 per cent OBC quota in the state's local body elections and the consequent notifications issued by the State Election Commission to give effect to the same.
In September, the Maharashtra government had brought an ordinance to ensure reservation to OBC candidates of rural local body elections six months after the Supreme Court struck down the 27 per cent reservation available stating that it has breached the cap mandated by the top court.
The government promulgated the Ordinance to amend the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 and Maharashtra Village Panchayat Act for Zilla Parishads, Panchayat Samiti and Gram Panchayats.
On March 4, the apex court ruled that the reservation for OBC in local bodies should not result in exceeding the 50 per cent cap in reservation quota mandated by it.
The pleas contended that the Ordinances provide for 27 per cent reservation to the category of Backward Classes of Citizens was contrary to the judgements of the top court.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Mon, December 06 2021. 20:41 IST