Kolkata HC Strikes Down OBC Status Of Several Classes In West Bengal; CM Protests

Kolkata HC Strikes Down OBC Status Of Several Classes In West Bengal; CM Protests

These include 77 classes of reservation created between April 2010 and September 2010, and 37 classes created under the Act of 2012.

Aritra SinghaUpdated: Thursday, May 23, 2024, 03:05 PM IST
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Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday struck down the Other Backward Classes (OBC) status of several classes in West Bengal, declaring them as illegal. These include 77 classes of reservation created between April 2010 and September 2010, and 37 classes created under the Act of 2012.

Passing judgment on petitions challenging the provisions of the state's reservation Act of 2012 and reservations granted in 2010, the court clarified that the services of citizens of the struck-down classes, who are already in service or have availed the benefit of reservation or have succeeded in any selection process of the state, will not be affected by the order.

The number of enlisted persons under OBC in West Bengal after 2010 is likely to be above five lakhs, one of the lawyers representing the petitioners claimed. The CPI(M)-led Left Front was in power in West Bengal till May 2011 and thereafter the Trinamool Congress government took over.

Kolkata HC's Decision

Noting that religion indeed appears to have been the sole criterion for declaring these communities as OBCs, the court said it is of the view that the selection of 77 classes of Muslims as backwards is an affront to the Muslim community as a whole.

Maintaining that this court's mind is not free from doubt that the said community (Muslims) has been treated as a commodity for political ends, the bench said, This is clear from the chain of events that led to the classification of the 77 classes as OBCs and their inclusion to be treated as a vote bank.

The court also mentions in its verdict that no proper enquiry was conducted by the commission which invited applications for inclusion in the OBC list and even after purported preparation of the list no notification was issued inviting objections in general from the people at large. The Calcutta High Court has instructed the government to prepare a new list and get it passed in the state Legislative Assembly.

PM Modi On Kolkata HC's Judgement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in the capital on Wednesday, said: Today, the Kolkata High Court has given a tight slap to the INDI Alliance. The court has cancelled all OBC certificates issued after 2010 in Bengal. It has been done because West Bengal issued OBC certificates to Muslims. Their politics and obsession with vote banks and appeasement have crossed all limits.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that he welcomes the order of the High Court. Mamata Banerjee has said that she will not accept the court’s order. I will see that the court’s order is implemented, said Shah.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Opposes Kolkata HC's Verdict

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing an election campaign, mentioned that she will not accept the Calcutta High Court’s order on OBC reservation and also that, if necessary, she will move the Supreme Court.

"The OBC reservation quota introduced by the West Bengal government will continue. We had drafted the Bill after conducting a house-to-house survey, and it was passed by the cabinet and the assembly," she said.

"The BJP has conspired to stall it by using central agencies. How can the saffron party show such audacity?" the TMC boss said.

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