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OBC Quota In Local Body Polls : Supreme Court Directs Maharashtra Govt To Submit Data On OBCs To State Commission

Shruti Kakkar
19 Jan 2022 10:51 AM GMT
OBC Quota In Local Body Polls : Supreme Court Directs Maharashtra Govt To Submit Data On OBCs To State Commission
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The Supreme Court today asked the State of Maharashtra to submit the data and information available with the State concerning Other Backward Classes with the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission.The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar also said that the Committee may submit the interim report if so advised to the concerned authorities within 2 weeks...

The Supreme Court today asked the State of Maharashtra to submit the data and information available with the State concerning Other Backward Classes with the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission.

The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar also said that the Committee may submit the interim report if so advised to the concerned authorities within 2 weeks from receipt of information/data from the State Government.

The order was passed in an interlocutory application filed by the State of Maharashtra urging the court to permit the election on the basis of information & data already available with the State concerning OBC.

The bench in its order said,

"Instead of examining the correctness of the data furnished along with the application, appropriate course for the state is to produced the data & further information before state appointed dedicated commission who in turn can examine the correctness & if deem it appropriate to make recommendation to the state on the basis of which further steps can be taken by the comm as the case may be.

Be that as it may, information & data available with State Government can be furnished with the dedicated Commission who can examine efficacy & take appropriate decisions as may be warranted including submitting interim report to the State Government making recommendations as may be necessary which can be taken forward in accordance with law. This obviously would not complete the triple test exercise which has to be completed in terms of Vikas Gavali before providing seats in local govt for OBC category.

The committee may submit an interim report if so advised to the concerned authorities within 2 weeks from receipt of information/data from the state govt. It may not be understood that we have expressed any final opinion with regards to the correctness of the data in the IA, it is for the commission to examine the same & give its view."

The directions were issued in the application filed by the State of Maharashtra wherein relief was sought to allow the state to proceed with the local body elections on the basis of information and data which was already available with the State concerning OBC. The state has also sought recall of the order dated December 15, 2021 in which the Top Court had directed the State Government and State Election Commission to notify the 27% reserved seats for the OBC in Maharashtra local body elections as general seats and take forward the election process.

The bench also said that the observations made in the order would also govern the dispensation in other states which intends to proceed with the election of local govt & providing reservation to OBC.

"We reiterate that similar dispensation be followed including regarding the compliance of triple test by all States or the Union Territories, if they intend to conduct election of local Government and provide for reservation for OBC category. In case, the State or the Union Territory is not in a position to fulfil the triple test requirement and the election to any of its local body cannot be postponed beyond the statutory period, the concerned (State) Election Commission ought to notify proportionate seats as open category seats, and proceed with the elections of the local bodies," the bench in its order said.

The State Election Commission told the Court that based on the December 15 order, elections were held by converting OBC seats as general seats and results are to be notified tomorrow.

Senior Advocate(s) Vikas Singh appeared for the petitioner (Rahul Ramesh Wagh), Shekhar Naphade for the State of Maharashtra,  Ajit Kadethankar (for SEC) V Giri & P Wilson for the intervenors. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Addl SG KM Nataraj appeared for the Union.

Background

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar on December 15, 2021 had directed the State Election Commission to renotify the 27% OBC constituencies as general seats and resume the election process for those seats along with other states.

The bench on December 6, 2021 had stayed the 27% quota and allowed election process in the remaining seats observing that the Ordinance brought by the Maharashtra Government to provide the 27% OBC reservation was an attempt to overreach the judgment of the Supreme Court in Vikas Kishanrao Gawali v State Of Maharashtra and Ors LL 2021 SC 13, which had quashed the 27% OBC quota as it was introduced without following the "triple tests'' laid down inKrishna Murthy (Dr.) & Ors. vs. Union of India & Anr., (2010) 7 SCC 202.

The matter is now slated to be heard on February 8, 2021.

Case Title: Rahul Ramesh Wagh Versus The State Of Maharashtra And Ors| SLP(C) No. 19756/2021

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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