Blow to Nitish Kumar! Patna HC annuls Bihar govt’s 65% reservation hike in jobs, education

The Patna High Court annulled the Bihar govt's notification increasing reservation from 50% to 65% for backward classes, scheduled castes, and tribes in government jobs and educational institutions, as it violates the SC verdict in the Indira Sawhney case, which lays down a maximum ceiling of 50%.

Livemint
Updated20 Jun 2024, 01:16 PM IST
Patna HC annuls Bihar govt's 65% reservation hike in jobs, education.
Patna HC annuls Bihar govt’s 65% reservation hike in jobs, education.

The Patna High Court on Thursday annulled the Bihar government's notification raising reservations for backward classes, scheduled castes, and scheduled tribes from 50% to 65% in government jobs and higher educational institutions in the state.

The court ruled on multiple petitions challenging the constitutionality of the reservation increase, with petitioners arguing that the state's hike exceeded its legislative authority. 

A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran passed the order on a bunch of petitions which had opposed the legislations brought by the Nitish Kumar government in November 2023.

“We had submitted that the amendments to the reservation laws were violative of the Constitution. After hearing both sides, the court had reserved its judgement in March. Today the final order has come and our petitions have been allowed,” Ritika Rani, one of the counsels appearing for the petitioners told PTI. 

Last November, the Bihar government issued a gazette notification for two reservation bills: the Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (for SC, ST, EBC, and OBC) Amendment Bill and the Bihar (in Admission in Educational Institutions) Reservation Amendment Bill, 2023. 

These bills aimed to increase the quota from 50% to 65%. Hence, the total reservation in the state would have reached 75%, including the additional 10% for the economically weaker sections (EWS). 

Following the results of the state's caste survey, the government raised the quota for Scheduled Castes (SC) to 20%, Scheduled Tribes (ST) to 2%, Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) to 25%, and Other Backward Classes (OBC) to 18%. 

However, the petitions argued that the hike in the reservation was surpassing the legislative powers. “…quota hike was also discriminatory in nature and violative of the fundamental rights to equality as guaranteed to the citizens by Articles 14,15 and 16,” they had said. 

“The amendments are violative of the Supreme Court verdict passed in the case of Indira Sawhney versus Union of India whereby a maximum ceiling of 50% was laid down,” the petitioners had said. 

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 01:16 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaBlow to Nitish Kumar! Patna HC annuls Bihar govt’s 65% reservation hike in jobs, education

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