HC rejects Gujjars` plea for special quota

The Rajasthan HC rejected a petition seeking 5% quota for Gujjars in government jobs.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a significant development, the Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday rejected a petition seeking 5% reservation in government job for the Gujjar community, which has warned to continue its stir for more reservations in jobs.

The High Court, while rejecting the plea, directed the government to collect and provide data on the educational and economic background of the Gujjar community in a year.

Today’s ruling will mean that the Gujjars will only get 1% reservation in the government jobs as against their demand for a 5% reservation.

Reacting to the High Court ruling, Gujjar leader KS Bainsla said, “Our fight is with the government and we will continue our agitation till our demands are met.”

The High Court by its interim order of October 13, 2009, stayed the implementation of a state government notification on reservation for Gujjars, which took the total reservations in government jobs in Rajasthan to 68%.

The High Court had said that a total of 68% reservation in jobs exceeded the limit of 50% fixed by the Supreme Court in 1992.

The state government preferred not to move the apex court against HC`s interim order on the grounds that in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh too the prevailing reservation is far in excess of the limit fixed by the apex court.

The apex court had on October 26, 2010, rejected a petition that sought review of its July 13 order which extended its interim order for the continuation of the 69% reservation for the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Most Backward Classes (MBCs) for one more year in Tamil Nadu.

The apex court said that if the state government wanted to re-fix reservation quotas exceeding the limit of 50%, then it could do so by taking recourse to the parameters laid down by it in the Mandal Commission judgment in 1993.

In the Mandal judgment, the apex court left an opening for exceeding the 50% reservation limit under compelling circumstances.
The ghost of reservations came back to haunt after Gujjars, demanding reservation for the community in government jobs, yesterday laid siege to a railway track near Bayana in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, affecting the train services between Delhi and Mumbai.

Gujjars, under the leadership of Colonel Bainsla, convener of Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, after holding a mahapanchayat in Bayana, about 150 km from the state capital Jaipur, on Monday decided on the rail blockade.

Following the decision, hundreds protested at the railway track in Piloo Ka Pura forcing the railways to divert and cancel a few of its trains.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded yesterday as the movement of trains between Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan`s Bharatpur was severely affected.

Half a dozen trains, including the Rajdhani Express, were diverted through Agra Cantonment railway station to avoid Bharatpur on Monday evening.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had appealed to the community leaders to peacefully resolve the matter and respect the High Court’s judgment on the issue.
The state government has warned that strong action would be taken against people indulging in damage of government property. Late at night, Gehlot reviewed the situation with the Director General of Police, Chief Secretary and the home minister.

Gujjars demanding reservation for better educational and job prospects earlier between 2006 and 2008 staged violent protests in which many lives were lost.

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