Gujjar quota Bill: High Court restrains Rajasthan government

November 10, 2017:The Indian Express

The Rajasthan High Court Thursday “restrained¶ the state government from acting upon the Bill which grants five per cent reservation to Gujjars and four other castes in Rajasthan. The Bill was passed by the Assembly last month.

A bench of Justices K S Jhaveri and Vijay Kumar Vyas said that since the Supreme Court had already asked the state government to maintain status quo after the 2015 Gujjar reservation Bill was struck down by Rajasthan High Court, “it will not be appropriate to allow the state government to do anything contrary to the Supreme Court’s order and they are restrained from acting upon the Bill.¶

The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, which was passed on October 26 this year, sought to increase OBC quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent, and create a separate category of ‘More Backward Classes’ for Banjara, Gadiya Lohar, Gujjar, Raika and Gadariya castes, giving them a five per cent reservation.
Advocate G P Kaushik, appearing for Ganga Sahay Sharma who has petitioned against the Bill, said the state government introduced reservation Bills for Gujjars in 2008 and in 2015; both were quashed by the high court, mainly because they exceeded the 50 per cent reservation limit set by the apex court. With the state government bringing a Bill which would result in reservation again exceeding the 50 per cent cap, the court observed it wanted to take a “populist view¶.

State Congress chief Sachin Pilot said, “The state had the benefit of a BJP government here and at the Centre. It should have moved to include the law in Ninth Schedule of the Constitution (to make it immune to judicial scrutiny).¶


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