HC scraps 65 pc quota hike in Bihar, dubs it unconstitutional

Patna, June 20 {UNI) The Patna High Court on Thursday scrapped quota hike in government services to 65 percent, saying it was against the constitutional provision.

A division bench of Patna High Court headed by Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran while disposing off the petition filed by one Gaurav Kumar, observed that hike of quota upto 65 percent in government services in Bihar was against the constitutional provision.

The Court scrapped the notification of Bihar government increasing the quota limit to 65 percent for SCs, STs, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) in state government services.

After prolonged hearing of the case, bench had reserved its order on March 11.

The Court said that census was prerogative of Central government and any sort of census, either directly or indirectly, could not be conducted by state government. “Things which are not allowed directly, can also not be done indirectly,” the court remarked.

The Court pointed out that Supreme Court in a case related to Indira Swahney vs Union of India, had fixed the upper limit of quota in government services up to 50 percent.

The vision envisaged in Constitution was of casteless society and such exercise carried out by the state government could not be the basis of hike in reservation in government services, the Court maintained.

The Bihar Government in November last year had increased the quota of Scheduled Castes to 20 percent, Scheduled Tribes to two percent, EBCs to 25 percent and OBCs to 18 percent, totalling 65 percent in the state government services.

Apart from this, 10 percent reservation was allowed to continue as earlier in government services for poor among upper caste, which was in existence previously.

Petitioner had pointed out that quota hike was also discriminatory in nature and violative of the fundamental rights to equality as guaranteed to citizens by Article 14,15 and 16.

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