Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday stayed till the next hearing the five percent reservation for special backward classes in the state, putting a question mark on the quota for the Gujjar community which had carried out largescale protests demanding the same.
The division bench, comprising justices NK Jain and JK Ranka, said since the overall reservation in the state now stands at 68 percent – well above the 50 percent mark – the same is unconstitutional.
At the last hearing, the HC had asked the Rajasthan government to justify the 68 percent reservation and explain as to why in the absence of justification the excess reservation be not stayed for the time being.
The court had also sought state’s explanation as to why, by way of an interim order, the excess reservation granted on the recommendation of State Backward Class Commission beyond 50 percent ceiling be not stayed. The order came on a petition filed by one Mukesh Solanki.
RD Rastogi, counsel for the petitioner, had told the court that the five percent reservation was granted to five communities under the head of special backward classes in the state that include Gujjar community.
On November 29 last year, the state government had accepted the state OBC commission report, paving way for five percent reservation in government jobs and educational institutes to five communities, including Gujjars, under Specially Backward Category.
“These castes were very much included in the quota of 21 percent reservation meant for Other Backward Classes, but still new term Special Backward Class (SBC) was created to give reservation to the castes like the Gujjar community,” Rastogi had said.
The counsel for the petitioner said that according to the Supreme Court judgements the upper limit fixed for reservation was 50 percent.
“But the state government gave five percent reservation to Special Backward Classes that included Gujjars, and 14 percent more reservation to economically backward classes raising the available reservation graph from 49 percent to 68 percent which is beyond the permissible limit,” Rastogi had said in the court.
(With PTI inputs)