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SC notice to Centre on inclusion of Jats in OBC list

Observing that it was a serious issue, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to produce all the records relating to the notification to include Jat community in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list for seven States to find out whether the government had applied its mind before such inclusion.

A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana gave this direction while issuing notice to the Centre on writ petitions filed by OBC Reservation Raksha Samiti, Ram Singh and two others. The petitioners sought a direction to quash the notification to include Jats in OBC list contrary to the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) rejecting such inclusion.

The seven States in which Jats would benefit by the notification are: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal and senior counsel Viswanath Shetty appearing for the petitioners submitted that the NCBC on February 26 had passed an order refusing to include Jats in the OBC list. Mr. Venugopal said as per the Indra Sawney judgment (Mandal case) the recommendations of the Commission were binding on the government. If the government wanted to take a different view it should give special reasons, he said, and added in this case the government, in its notification issued on March 4, one day prior to the election notification (when Model Code of Conduct came into force), without giving any reason.

He alleged that the notification was issued with mala fide intentions for vote bank politics. It was nothing but bribery to purchase votes of a particular community in the Lok Sabha polls, he said. Counsel argued that the government had not applied its mind and the court should call for the records to find out whether the government applied its mind and what were the materials considered for such inclusion.

Alleging that the notification was a fraud on the Constitution, he said no right thinking government would do that. He said if the decision was implemented Jats would take away the quota reserved for other backward communities. He said if admission of Jats were made in schools and colleges under the OBC quota it would have serious repercussions. He pleaded for stay of the operation of the notification.

The bench, however told the counsel, it would consider the question of stay after hearing the views of the Centre. Hence the court called for the production of the records relating to the issuance of the notification to include Jats in the OBC list.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 1:58:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-notice-to-centre-on-inclusion-of-jats-in-obc-list/article5858757.ece

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