New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government and State Election Commission (SEC) not to act upon the interim report of Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (SBCC ) which recommended a grant of 27 per cent OBC quota in local bodies election and reiterated that election be held without OBC reservation.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar refused to accept the interim report observing that it was prepared without empirical study and research.
It directed the Maharashtra government and the State Election Commission to not act upon the interim report.
The Maharashtra government while approaching the top court said that the SBCC has granted the clearance for restoring the 27 percent quota for other backward classes (OBC) in local bodies across the state, and it now required a nod from the top court to reserve seats for OBC in local body elections.
Maharashtra government, in its application, said that on February 5, the SBCC gave its recommendation allowing the state government to go ahead with the implementation. Pursuant to the SBCC report Maharashtra approached the apex court seeking permission to implement OBC quota in the remaining local body polls in terms of the recommendation of the Commission.
On January 19, the top court had directed the state government to submit data on OBCs to the SBCC to examine its correctness and make recommendations on their representation in elections for the local bodies.
The top court had also directed the SBCC to submit the interim report to the authorities concerned in two weeks of receiving information from the state government.
On December 15, 2021, the top court had directed the Maharashtra State Election Commission to de-notify the 27 percent seats reserved for OBC and re-issue them under the general category for the local body elections. It had asked State Election Commission to renotify the 27 percent OBC constituencies as general seats for local body polls and resume the election process along with the remaining 73 percent.
On December 6, the bench had stayed the 27 percent reservation for the OBC in the local body elections of Maharashtra until further orders. It had observed that 27 percent of OBC Quota could not have been implemented without setting up a Commission and without collecting data regarding the inadequacy of representation local government wise.
The bench in its order today recorded, "The report itself mentions that the same is being prepared in absence of empirical study and research by the Commission. Having failed to do so, the Commission should not have filed the interim report. As a result, it is not possible to permit any authority, much less the State Election Commission, to act upon the recommendations made in the said report. For the time being, we don't intend to dilate on the correctness of each of the observations made by the commission in the interim report. We, however, direct all concerned not to act upon the interim report as submitted."
After Supreme Court's directions on the OBC quota, the Maharashtra government called a cabinet meeting at 1 pm to discuss the further steps. (ANI)