BHOPAL: MP High Court on Tuesday extended the stay on government ordinance increasing Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation from 14% to 27%. Anaksha Dubey and others of Jabalpur had challenged the ordinance issued on March 8, 2019. Next hearing will be held on September 23.

The petitioners claimed that owing to the amendment by the state government, OBC quota had increased from existing 14% to 27%. As a result total reservation exceeded upper slab of 50%. The Supreme Court has already cleared that benefit of reservations will not be more than 50% in any circumstances.

Currently, Madhya Pradesh provides 16% reservation to Scheduled Caste, 20% to Scheduled Tribes and OBCs enjoys up to 14% quota.

On March 19,2019, High Court had stayed government decision to grant more than 14% reservation to OBCs in medical colleges. Similarly, it also stayed benefit of reservation in recruitment against 400 posts through Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC)

The state government had issued an ordinance on March 8, increasing reservation for OBC to 27% from existing 14%. In its justification, the government said that as OBCs comprise around 52% of the state population, an increase in quota was necessary to safeguard interests of the community.

MBBS students, who had appeared in NEET 2019 for admissions to postgraduate medical courses, challenged the state government’s ordinance on the ground that it breached provisions of Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India. Arguing before a division bench of the High Court, the petitioners claimed that the government’s move violated 50% cap on reservation as total reservation in state has reached 63%, the petitioners argued.

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