Free Press Journal

Centre moves SC for review of verdict scrapping quota for Jats


jat reservation

New Delhi:  Government has moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its March 17 verdict setting aside a 2014 notification of erstwhile UPA regime to include Jats in the central list of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in nine states to accord quota benefits to them. The NDA government moved the apex court days after a meeting a Jat delegation had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who assured the community leaders that his dispensation would try to find a solution within the legal framework.

The Centre, in its review plea, has said “the Centre’s power to make available quota for a community is not dependent on the advice of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh said the review plea was filed yesterday. While dismissing a petition by a group of Jat students seeking benefits of reservation under the OBC category in post-graduate medical and dental courses two days ago, the apex court, however, said the NCBC’s recommendations would be ordinarily binding on the government.

The government’s plea further said the test laid down by the apex court in the Mandal judgement for determination of “social, educational and economic backwardness” of Jats had been complied with. The decision to include Jats in Central OBC list was taken after various state panels furnished reports favouring the inclusion, it said. Earlier, a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman, setting aside the March 4, 2014 notification that had enabled Jats to claim reservation in nine states, had said that “possible wrong inclusions” cannot be the basis of further inclusion, and reservation should be given only to the “most distressed”.

It had referred to various constitutional schemes and the NCBC report and said the finding of the OBC panel that Jats do not deserve to be given quota benefits was “supported by good and acceptable reasons”. The court also said the NCBC had considered reports of state backward classes panels and other literature on the subject before recommending that Jats should not be included in the list of OBCs. The Jats were included in the central list OBCs for getting reservation in states like Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

On March 31, the apex court had dismissed a plea of Jat students seeking benefits of reservation under OBCin the ongoing process of admission in post-graduate (PG) medical and dental courses. “There is no vested right in favour of the applicants under the notification in question and the right have been subject to the result of the writ petition which had been decided by the impugned order of this court dated March 17, 2015,” it had said.

A group of Jat students had said that during the all- India counselling for admission to PG courses, the students were in the OBC list as the judgement of this court had not come then. And, when state level counselling was on, the students of the community fell under the general category. The students, who did not opt for all-India counselling for better choice of colleges in the subsequent state-level counselling, were “neither here nor there”, the plea had said, adding that these innocent students have been caught in this.

The bench said there was no vested rights in favour of Jat students and it had been made clear that such admissions would be subject to the outcome of the petition, which has been decided by it.