The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra government to submit its data collected on the Other Backward Classes (OBC) to the State Backward Classes Commission (SBCC) and directed the commission to submit an interim report to the State on the same within two weeks.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, representing the Maharashtra government, urged a Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar to recall its order of notifying 27% of OBC seats to the general category. To which, Justice Khanwilkar said, “There is no question of recalling the order, it can be modified at best. There can be no reservation for OBC without the ‘triple test’ and a dedicated commission has to decide that ...”
The order passed on December 6, 2021 directed the Election Commission (EC) to treat the OBC category as nullified and on December 15, the apex court directed the EC to consider OBC seats as open category.
Mr. Naphade informed the court that some data had been collected by the State on the basis of which reservation could be sustained. The Bench said the data could be shared with the SBCC. Mr. Naphade, along with advocate Sachin Patil, sought a direction from the court to the SBCC to submit its report in two weeks so that it could be acted upon for the elections in March, otherwise a large section of the community might go unrepresented.
The Bench agreed and clarified that the data collected by the State on the socially and educationally backward classes would be independent of the census carried out by the Centre.
The court ordered that the data collected by the State be shared with the SBCC which would submit an interim report on the same within two weeks. The Bench adjourned the matter to February 8.