A bunch of petitions before the top court have challenged the State’s ordinance to provide 27 percent reservation for OBCs.
The petitions have also assailed the the State Election Commission’s (SEC) notification of rules for the local body elections in accordance with the ordinance.
On December 6, 2021, the top court had stayed the SEC notification with respect to OBC seats on the ground that it was prima facie against the mandatory triple-test laid down by it in another judgment of Vikas Kishanrao Gawali v. State of Maharashtra.
Later on December 15, 2021 the Court had ordered SEC to renotify the 27 percent OBC seats as general category seats and to hold polls simultaneously for all seats.
“The SEC must issue fresh notification for the remaining 27 percent seats reserved for OBC as general category and commence election process for them along with remaining 73 percent which is on its way. SEC must declare results of both polls simultaneously,” the Court had directed.
In the Vikas Krishnarao judgment, the apex court had struck down the State’s move to introduce 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in zilla parishads and panchayat samitis, saying it was violative of the 50 per cent cap laid down in the top court’s Indra Sawhney judgment.
As per the triple test laid out in that judgment, the following conditions are required to be complied by the State before reserving seats in local bodies for OBCs:
– constituting a commission to study the nature and implications of backwardness with respect to claims for reservation in local bodies;
– laying out the quantum of reservation in line with recommendations of the said commission; and
– not breaching the 50 per cent cap on reservation.