Madhya Pradesh: Supreme Court allows OBC reservation in local body polls

The state election commission shall notify the election program respect of the concerned local bodies thereafter within one week.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 08:38 PM IST
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Madhya Pradesh: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the implementation of reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in local body elections in Madhya Pradesh, allowing the state government to notify the reservation pattern on the basis of the recommendations in a second report of a state backward classes commission.

A bench presided by Justice A M Khanwilkar took into account the state’s submission that an earlier report which the court had objected to had been revised and that the delimitation exercise had already been completed and notified.

“For the time being, we permit the Madhya Pradesh state election commission to notify the programme for the respective local bodies keeping in mind the delimitation notification already issued as on date .i.e. till today and the report submitted by the dedicated commission…,” the Supreme Court ordered. “We permit the state of Madhya Pradesh to notify the reservation pattern local body wise to be adhered to by the state election commission within one week. The state election commission shall notify the election programme in respect of the concerned local bodies thereafter within one week.”

On May 10, the court had directed that the elections be notified within two weeks without providing for OBC reservation as the state was yet to complete the triple test laid down by the SC before providing for such reservation.

Subsequently, the state again approached the court seeking permission to implement the OBC quota saying that the first report of the commission was revised keeping in view the concerns expressed by the court and contended that the second report satisfies the triple test requirement.

On Wednesday, the bench, which perused the second report, said it focuses on the local body-wise reservation for OBCs by keeping in mind the maximum reservation limit of 50 per cent as laid down by the SC.

However, it added that this should not be seen as an expression of any final opinion by the court on the validity or correctness of the report and if someone challenges it, that may have to be considered on its own merits in accordance with law.

State Home Minister Narottam Mishra termed the order a great victory of the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh.

“Our government has won. Our hard work paid off. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, we met legal experts and presented our point with facts before the Hon'ble Supreme Court,” he said.

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