Sunday, June 4, 2023

Political reservation: Supreme Court directs Karnataka to submit SEC report on reservation for Other Backward Classes in Local Bodies by March 31

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The Supreme Court directed the Karnataka government on Thursday to submit the report being prepared by its State Election Commission on political reservation and reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Local Bodies before the Court by March 31 next year.

The matter was mentioned before the Bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Hima Kohli.

Appearing for Karnataka, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended that following the directions of the Karnataka High Court, the state government was collecting empirical data related to reservation for OBCs in Local Bodies.

Mehta said the government was seeking extension for submission of the SEC report because the exercise needed time.
The Bench asked SG Mehta why they needed so much time.

The top court of the country, while taking into consideration the recent EWS judgment, said that OBCs have to be represented.

The Counsel for the Respondents submitted before the court that the Backward Class Commission had already recommended 33 percent reservation for OBCs. 

The exercise that the Commission was currently undertaking would take a lot of time and was not likely to happen even after three months, noted the Counsel, adding that if they had to conduct a door-to-door census, it would not be finished within even a year, forget about three months.

The Bench then observed that if elections were held like this, the OBCs would not get anything. Noting that the Commission was conducting the exercise for a just cause, the Apex Court gave the Karnataka government time till March 31 to submit the report.

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