No Reservation for Jats Under OBC Quota – SC

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In what could be termed as a massive setback to the erstwhile UPA government, the Supreme Court of India quashed the notification to include Jats in the Central list of reservation under OBC (other Backward Classes) quota.

The judgment, initially reserved on December 17, 2014, was delivered by a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman.

“We set aside the notification to implement Jats in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC),” the bench said.

The bench also criticized the central government’s to ignore the findings of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). It stated that Jats did not not require inclusion in the Central list of OBCs as traditionally they have been far from being a socio-economic backward class.

“Caste, though a prominent factor, cannot be the sole factor of determining the backwardness of a class,” the bench said, while citing an earlier decision by a larger bench to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations when it comes to OBC reservations.

“Neither can any longer backwardness be a matter of determination on the basis of mathematical formulae evolved by taking into account social, economic and educational indicators”, the court said.

“We can’t agree that politically organised Jats are backward class so as to be entitled to OBC reservation.”

“The view taken by the NCBC to the contrary is adequately supported by good and acceptable reasons which furnished a sound and reasonable basis for further consequential action on the part of the union government.”

“In the above situation, we cannot hold the notification dated 4.3.2014 to be justified,” the court added.

“Accordingly… the aforesaid notification… including the Jats in the Central List of Other Backward Classes for the States of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Bharatpur and Dholpur Districts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand is set aside and quashed.”

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