New Delhi: Government has said it has the powers under the Constitution to include Jats in the central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) and sought a review of Supreme Court's decision to scrap quota for the community.
In its review petition, the NDA government, which strongly supported the erstwhile UPA regime on the issue, also submitted that the apex court "committed an error" in holding that the National Commission for Backward Classes' (NCBC) opinion would be binding on it.
"The power to make provisions for reservation flows from Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India. This power is not dependent upon the advice of NCBC. The Union of India, notwithstanding the provisions of the NCBC Act, possesses/retains this power to add or subtract from the central list of other backward classes," the review plea, settled by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, said.
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The Centre had moved the court days after a Jat delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who assured the community leaders that his regime would try to find a solution within the legal framework.
Earlier, a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman, in its verdict, had referred to various constitutional schemes and the NCBC report and said that the finding of the OBC panel that Jats do not deserve to be given quota benefits was "supported by good and acceptable reasons".
The court had also said the NCBC had considered reports of state backward classes panels and other literature on the subject before recommending that Jats should not be included in the list of OBCs.
Seeking a review of the apex court's March 17 verdict setting aside a 2014 notification to include Jats in OBC list in nine states, the Centre said that its constitutional power can neither be "dependent" nor be curtailed on the advice of NCBC.