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Patna HC rejects PIL against 65% reservation

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Patna, Dec 1 (IANS) In a major relief to the Bihar government, the Patna High Court has rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the 65 per cent reservation in the state.

A single judge bench of Chief Justice K.V. Chandran rejected the pleas of petitioners Gaurav Kumar and Naman Shrestha who were seeking stay on the reservation policy of the Bihar government and directed the Bihar government to submit a reply before the court till January 12, 2024.

The petitioners jointly filed a PIL in Patna High Court challenging the decision of Nitish Kumar government to enhance the reservation for EBC, OBC, SC and ST in Bihar to 65 per cent, contending that reservation above 50 per cent is a violation of the Constitution and fundamental rights of common people.

They argued that the parameters of reservation should be given on the basis of social and financial status of the people belonging to the backward class and not on the basis of the population of the caste.

They said that the Nitish Kumar government enhanced the reservation up to 65 per cent on the basis of population of castes, and 35 per cent people, belonging to other castes come under the general category, which is a violation of the fundamental rights of the common people in Bihar.

The Nitish Kumar government passed the Bihar Reservation (Amendment) Act 2023 in the legislature in the Winter Session on November 10 and Governor R.V. Arleker gave his approval on November 18.

This act is based on the outcome of a recently concluded caste survey. While reservation for Extremely Backward Caste (EBC), Other Backward Caste (OBC), Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) goes up to 65 per cent, the Bihar government has also given 10 per cent reservation to EWS people in the upper caste category in the state.

Hence, the state will have 75 per cent reservation in admissions to various educational institutions as well as in government jobs.

People coming under EBC had 18 per cent reservation in the past and this was enhanced to 25 per cent, while for OBCs, it increased from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, for SCs from 16 per cent to 20 per cent, and for STs from 1 per cent to 2 per cent plus.

Bihar is not the first state to have 75 per cent reservation as Tamil Nadu has 79 per cent, Jharkhand 77 per cent, Chhattisgarh 76 per cent, Telangana 75 per cent, and Maharashtra 72 per cent.



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