Jats were rightly included in OBC list, Centre tells SC

The Narendra Modi government today defended in the Supreme Court the inclusion of Jats in the Central list of other backward classes (OBCs) in March this year, ahead of the Lok Sabha election, ignoring the report of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

laxmi@tribune.com

R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, December 4
The Narendra Modi government today defended in the Supreme Court the inclusion of Jats in the Central list of other backward classes (OBCs) in March this year, ahead of the Lok Sabha election, ignoring the report of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
The then UPA government had taken the decision on the basis of the fact that as many as nine states had already recognised Jats as OBCs for the purpose of offering reservation in education and jobs, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi pleaded with a Bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman. OBCs get 27% quota.
The Centre had rejected the NCBC advice as the commission was meant only for going into complaints from people and not for sitting in judgment over the decisions of the states and the Centre, the AG contended.
Under Article 16(4) of the Constitution, the states and the Centre had the exclusive right to first finalise the list of Backward Classes and then periodically review it for exclusion or inclusion of certain classes going by their social, economic and educational status.
In fact, there was no need for the Centre to set up the NCBC as under the Constitution the government did not require any intermediary to decide the status of BCs or OBCs, Rohatgi said. If the Centre had to go by the BC-OBC lists of the states as it did in the case of Jats, then why was it not recognising all the 8,000 BCs and OBCs on the states’ list, the Bench wanted to know.
At this, the AG said the Centre had the power to pick and choose BCs and OBCs from the lists of states as the Central kitty for offering quota in education and jobs was too small to accommodate all 8,000 BCs and OBCs. In a federal structure, where the Centre and the states had the power in such matters, the NCBC was not in a position to nullify their decisions, he pleaded.
The Bench was hearing a batch of petitions, some in favour of the Centre’s decision and others against it.  A Cabinet meeting held on March 3, 2014 when Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister had decided to include the Jat community in the Central List of OBCs for nine states – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan (Bharatpur and Dhaulpur districts), Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
The NCBC had “not adequately taken into account the ground realities and therefore (the then government) decided not to accept the advice” given by it, the Centre said.

Top Stories

Air pollution: Five-member task force, multiple flying squads get into action

Air pollution: 5-member task force, multiple flying squads get into action

Schools, colleges in Delhi-NCR to remain closed till further...

'You want to ban industries in Pakistan': Supreme Court to UP counsel on air pollution

'You want to ban industries in Pakistan': Supreme Court to UP counsel on air pollution

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar submitted before a bench that t...

Omicron may decrease efficacy but existing vaccines will still help: Govt

Omicron may decrease efficacy but existing vaccines will still help: Govt

Does not rule out a third wave, but it would be mild

Kangana Ranaut alleges her car was attacked by 'farmers' in Anandpur Sahib as she entered Punjab

Kangana Ranaut's car stopped by protesting farmers near Kiratpur in Punjab

The incident took place when she entered Punjab from Himacha...

Mob in Pakistan’s Punjab province lynches Sri Lankan citizen over ‘blasphemy’

Mob in Punjab province of Pakistan lynches Sri Lankan factory manager over blasphemy

Priyantha Kumara was working as General Manager at a factory...

Cities

View All