Public service

Madhya Pradesh HC cancels OBC’s 27% quota in Civil Service Commission review

Bhopal: In a jolt for the state government, the Jabalpur Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday (February 16th) canceled the 27% quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the main review of the Commission of the State Civil Service (PSC), held in 2019.

A two-member bench of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and including Justice Maninder Singh Bhatti, said in an interim order on Wednesday: “The respondents (referring to the PSC of Madhya Pradesh and the Department of General Administration of State) ensure that the reservation for OBC category does not exceed 14% when declaring the results of the Main State Service Examination of the Public Service Commission of Madhya Pradesh ( MPPSC), 2019.

The court made the observation while hearing a petition filed by a certain Niharika Tiwari, a student from Betul who had appeared for the 2019 MPPSC main exam and belongs to the “general” category.

In the one-page interim order, the panel, citing its order dated March 19, 2019, said: “In similar matters relating to the granting of a reservation for the OBC category, this court, by order dated March 19, 2019 2019 Passed in Brief Petition (WP) No. 5901 of 2019 passed an Interim Order that Respondents shall not provide more than 14% booking for the OBC category, for the relevant matter therein mentioned We are of the view that the applicant would also be entitled to similar relief.”

Madhya Pradesh High Court 2019 Order

The Congress government led by Kamal Nath on March 8, 2019 had passed an ordinance increasing the reserve for the OBC category to 27% from the existing 14% in the state. About 10 days later, four MBBS students taking the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) examination for admission to medical colleges challenged the MP’s government order, citing the article 14 of the constitution and advocating equality before the law.

Aditya Sanghi, who represented the claimants, had argued that following the order increasing the OBC reserve to 27%, beyond the 16% reserve for Scheduled Castes (SC) and 20% for Scheduled Tribes (ST) law the prescribed reservation had risen to 63%, which he called “unconstitutionally ineligible”.

The court had subsequently requested the state’s response to the motion challenging the order of the Madhya Pradesh government, ‘Madhya Pradesh Lok Seva (Anusuchit Jatiyon, Anusuchit Jan Jatiyon Aur Anya Pichhade Vargon Ke Liye Arakshan) Sanshodhan Adhiniyam , 2019’, which had increased the reserve for the OBC category from the existing 14% to 27%.

The court then observed: “At this point, the additional learned general counsel, representing the defendant/State, accepts the notice and prays for a week to seek instructions and submit his response. Meanwhile, it is ordered that the defendant provide no more than 14% reserve to the OBC category in the admission made to the colleges under the order which is the subject of this petition.

Sanghi also represents Tiwari’s current petition. Talk to Thread, he said: “In the Indra Sawhney case, the Supreme Court had capped caste-based reservation at a maximum of 50%. In addition to this, the court recently canceled the reservations granted to the Maratha community. This means that the OBC’s 27% quota is a violation of the court order. »

With this interim order, the MPPSC, which last year announced the results with 27% OBC reserve, in accordance with a notification issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) on August 14, 2021, will now publish a new list. of interview candidates. with 14% OBC booking, the council said.

He said: “The two-judge bench, in its interim order, prevented the MPPSC from giving a 27% reserve and issued notices to the MPPSC and GAD, the respondents in the case.”

Previously, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh overturned a 27% quota for OBC in three separate petitions; the departments of school education, health and medical education respectively.

Sanghi alleged that the High Court suspended the reserve order, but the state government misinterpreted the order and enacted the law on September 2, 2021, which will come into effect retroactively from March 8, 2019.

“The order which was passed by Congress in March 2019 was enacted by the BJP government led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan almost 30 months later, by issuing a GAD order, misinterpreting the High Court order” , Sanghi said.

Attacked by the opposition Congress after creating heckling inside the State Assembly, the BJP government had enacted the law on September 2, 2021. Speaking to ANI news agency, Madhya Pradesh Urban Development and Housing Minister Bhupendra Singh said at the time, “The government of Madhya Pradesh headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan has allowed 27% reservation for OBC for all departments excluding of the three departments that have been suspended. It is a historic decision.

In its order, the GAD had said, “There are various legal applications pending before the Honorable High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Principal Seat at Jabalpur, where the provisions of Madhya Pradesh Lok Seva Sanshodhan Adhiniyam, 2019 are challenged, per which the reserve for the OBC class has been increased from 14% to 27%.”

The order further stated: “Previously, this Office, through the Additional General Counsel, gave notice on August 8, 2020 to the National Health Mission (NHM) by which it was advised, within special circumstances that prevailed at that time due to the spread of COVID-19, that appointments on positions related to certain contractual appointments in the NHM department can be made by limiting the OBC reservation to the tune of 14%. However, it was clarified that the merit positions for the full 27% should stand and the remaining 13% will depend on the final outcome of the case.

The matter is still pending as the hearing of around 48 (associated) petitions, for or against the law, are still pending in the High Court, with the BJP and Congress still vying for credit.

(With contributions from Kashif Kakvi)