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Bihar govt to move Supreme Court against Patna HC order striking down 65 per cent reservations law

In a major jolt to the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar, the Patna High Court struck down the 65 per cent reservations law. The government will move the top court against the decision, Samrat Choudhary said.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Patna Published on: June 20, 2024 19:20 IST
Bihar reservation verdict, Supreme Court, Patna High Court, reservation in Bihar
Image Source : PTI Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with his deputies Vijay Kumar Sinha and Samrat Choudhary

The Bihar government will move the Supreme Court challenging the Patna High Court order which struck down the 65 per cent reservations for SC, ST, EBC, and other backward classes in educational institutions and government jobs, Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary said on Thursday (June 20). He said that the government will seek “justice” for the people of the state where, the BJP leader added, reservation for backwards communities “must increase”.

His remarks came after the Patna High Court invalidated Bihar government laws that aimed to increase reservations for SC, ST, EBC, and other backward classes to 65 per cent in educational institutions and government jobs. The court ruled The Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (Amendment) Act, 2023, and The Bihar (In Admission in Educational Institutions) Reservation (Amendment) Act, 2023 as unconstitutional, violating Articles 14, 15, and 16. The decision follows petitions challenging these amendments, arguing they exceeded the 50% reservation cap mandated by the Supreme Court.

What did Samrat Choudhary say?

Choudhary vowed to approach the Supreme Court on the matter.

“In Bihar, the reservation of backward communities, dalits and tribals must increase...therefore Bihar govt will go to Supreme Court and will give justice to the people of Bihar...his (Tejashwi Yadav) father did not give reservation to a single person, Lalu Prasad Yadav means anti-reservation, he was supporter of crime and he was epitome of hooliganism,” he said.

Legal challenge and judicial verdict

Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Harish Kumar delivered the verdict on petitions filed by Gaurav Kumar and others, which were heard on March 11, 2024.

State government's argument

Bihar's Advocate General P.K. Shahi argued that the increased reservations were necessary due to inadequate representation of these groups, justifying the legislative action. He clarified that the reservations were not based on proportional population allocation.

Legislative background and controversy

The Bihar Assembly passed these laws on November 9, 2023, aiming to increase reservations for SC, ST, EBC, and other backward classes, while limiting general category seats to 35%.

Supreme Court precedent and pending cases

The issue of reservation limits had been previously adjudicated by the Supreme Court in the Indra Sawhney case, setting a 50% cap. The matter regarding socio-economic surveys for reservation is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

(With ANI inputs)

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