Madhya Pradesh Cabinet passes resolution to increase reservation for OBCs to 27%

The Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Monday passed a resolution to increase the reservation quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) from the existing 14 per cent to 27 per cent, taking the total reservation in the state to 73 per cent in violation of Supreme Court guidelines on the quota. 

As of now, the state has 15 per cent reservation for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), 21 per cent for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and the proposed 27 per cent for the OBCs. This brings the otal percentage of the reservation to 63, however, 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections take the total to a staggering 73 per cent in the state. 

As per the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in Indra Sawhney vs Union of India case in 1993, the total number of reserved seats/places/positions cannot exceed 50 per cent of what is available. 

The increase in the OBC quota has already been challenged in the state high court. A petition has been filed by Omkar Singh Kushwaha, contending that the 13 per cent increase would take the total reservation above the 50 per cent cap on the quota imposed by the SC.  Interestingly, in April, the SC had refused to hear a similar petition that sought a stay on the implementation of the additional 5 per cent OBC quota for Gujjar, Banjara, Gadia Lohar, Raika and Gadaria communities in Rajasthan.

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