SC Notice To Centre, Guj Govt, NCBC On PIL For Including Farmers In OBC

The Supreme Court has called for a response from the Centre, the Gujarat Government and the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on a PIL praying that ‘farmers’ be included in the category of Other Backward Classes (OBC) irrespective of their caste and religion.

The PIL also challenges the September 13 office memorandum issued by the Centre and the office order of Gujarat government issued in October, which has increased the income slab from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh to include more number of people in OBC.

The PIL, filed by Patan resident Rajeshkumar Patel through advocate Rajesh Inamdar and Gautam Talukdar, said the move of the Centre and the Gujarat government “is without any basis and without any quantifiable data”.

“There was no study or research conducted by the either the CG nor the State Government. In fact the State Government has readily adopted the OM of the Central Government,” it said.

It also said farmers who do not fall in the creamy layer be included in OBC category to ensure uplift for such farmers as constitutional rights considering them as occupational group.

Citing apex court precedents in Indra Sawhney Vs. Union of India wherein it was categorically held that the benefit of reservation can be extended to OBCs, inter alia, based on quantifiable data, the petitioner said: “The Impugned Office Memorandum and Office Order is ex-facie illegal and arbitrary and has been issued purely for political considerations disregarding the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in catena of Judgments”.

The petitioner prayed for a direction to quash the OM and office order.

It also prayed for direction to the government to “prepare the survey report as well as the review report about the development and progress for inclusion and exclusion of classes who are getting the benefit of reservation under the provisions of law, as well as the method adopted for identification of backward classes”.

It also called for laying down appropriate rules, guidelines for determination of the income limit which can be served as the basis for future exercise by the government.