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HC quashes UP OBC quota notice ahead of civic polls

The Allahabad High Court asked the government to hold the polls without delay as it did not accept the arguments of the government about the reservation given through its notification.

Statesman News Service | Lucknow |


The much-awaited urban local bodies poll in Uttar Pradesh might be delayed after the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, on Tuesday, quashed the OBC reservation notification issued by the state government on December 5 last.

However, the court had asked the government to hold the polls without any delay and did not accept the arguments of the government about the OBC reservation given through its notification.

The court said no reservation should be given to the OBCs without a triple test. In such a situation, local body elections should be conducted without giving reservation to OBCs.

The court ordered the state government to set up a commission for the triple test. It also set aside the provisional draft order of December 5 issued by the government regarding the elections.

A division bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyay and Justice Saurabh Lavania pronounced this decision on Tuesday on petitions challenging the OBC reservation.

Reacting to the ruling of the court, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said a final decision will be taken at the government level after a detailed study of the Allahabad High Court’s order and after consulting legal experts. He said that the BJP government was committed to protect the rights of the backward classes and no compromise will be made.

However senior Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav has raised questions on the motive of the state government to hold the civic polls without OBC reservation.

Yadav has accused the government of not taking up the case properly in the court. He said the decision to end reservation for OBCs in civic elections is unfortunate and it seems as a conspiracy of the UP government.

“The facts were deliberately not presented before the court by the government, thus depriving 60 per cent of the population of UP of reservation.

Apna Dal (S) working president and state cabinet minister Ashish Patel said that civic body elections without OBC reservation are not fair from any point of view. “We are studying the judgment given by the Lucknow High Court in this context. If needed, Apna Dal (S) will approach the Supreme Court for the rights of OBCs,” he said.

In the case, the petitioner’s side had said that OBC reservation in civic elections is a kind of political reservation. It has nothing to do with social, economic or educational backwardness. In such a situation, before the OBC reservation is decided, it is mandatory to conduct a triple test by the dedicated committee under the arrangement given by the Supreme Court.

The state government, in its counter affidavit, had said that the survey of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) conducted in 2017 in the case of local body elections should be considered as the basis of reservation. The government has said that this survey should be considered as a triple test. The government had also said that transgenders cannot be given reservation in elections.

The high court had also asked the government under which provisions the administrators have been appointed in the civic bodies? On this, the government said that there is a provision for this under the decision of the High Court of December 5, 2011.