The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government to submit data on Other Backward Classes to the State Backward Classes Commission, Live Law reported.

The court passed the order in response to an application by the state seeking permission to go ahead with local body elections on the basis of the data available with it. The state had passed an ordinance providing 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes in the local body elections.

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said that the commission can submit an interim report to the authorities, if so advised, within two weeks of receiving the data from the state government. The court clarified that the information provided by the Maharashtra government would be separate from the Census carried out by the Centre, PTI reported.

On December 6, the court had put on hold the elections to seats reserved for the Other Backward Classes, saying that the decision to provide the quota was taken without the Supreme Court-mandated triple test.

In the first step of the triple test, a commission is formed to hold an empirical investigation into the nature and implication of backwardness in the local bodies of a state.

In the second step, the panel recommends the proportion of reservation needed for the local body.

In the third step, it is ensured that the reservation does not exceed the aggregate 50% of the total seats kept aside jointly for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

On Wednesday, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, representing the Maharashtra government, said that the local body polls are to be held in March.

“Your lordship may tell the commission to submit a report in two weeks so we can act on the March elections,” Naphade said, according to PTI. “Otherwise a large section of the community might go unrepresented.”

At another hearing on the matter on December 15, the Supreme Court had directed the Maharashtra poll body to de-notify the 27% seats reserved for the Other Backward Classes and issue a fresh notification declaring them under the general category for the local body polls.