The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed 27% reservation for the Other Backward Classes in local body polls in Maharashtra, reported Live Law. The decision was taken on the basis of a report submitted by a state-appointed commission.
The court also directed the Maharashtra Election Commission to notify the election schedule for the local body polls within two weeks.
The order came after the Maharashtra government moved the Supreme Court against its decision to put a stay on an Ordinance providing 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes in the local body polls. The court had also put on hold the elections to seats reserved for the Other Backward Classes.
The court had said 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. During 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.
Following this court’s December 6 order, the state government set up a five-member commission in March to collate data for the quota. The commission submitted its report in June. The government then moved an application in the court seeking permission to implement the quota in the upcoming polls.
Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the state government, told The Hindu that the commission had found in its door-to-door survey that some areas have less Other Backward Classes population while some have more.
“But the triple test laid down by the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court has been strictly adhered to,” Naphade told the newspaper.