Jharkhand Governor CP Radhakrishnan has returned a bill proposing to raise reservations in government jobs, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.

The Jharkhand Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (Amendment) Bill, 2022, was passed by the state Assembly in November. The bill proposes to increase reservations for the Scheduled Tribes to 28% from 26%, Other Backward Classes to 27% from 14% and Scheduled Castes to 12% from 10%.

Combined with the existing 10% quota for the Economical Weaker Section, the bill would have taken the total reservation in state government jobs to 77%.

The state government had said it would request the Centre to include the bill in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution that will protect it from judicial review.

On Thursday, an unidentified Raj Bhawan official said that the bill was returned after seeking legal opinion from the attorney general, who advised that it breaches the ceiling of 50% quota limit imposed by the Supreme Court, according to the Hindustan Times.

“The previous governor [Ramesh Bais] had sent the bill to the attorney general for a legal opinion,” the official said. “As per the attorney general’s opinion, the bill does not confer with several Supreme Court judgements on the issue of reservation. Considering that opinion, Raj Bhawan returned the bill back to the government last month for a review,” the official said.

This is the first bill to have been returned by the new governor, who was appointed on February 18. Before him, at least four other legislations passed by the ruling Hemant Soren-led coalition government had been returned.

Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Rakesh Sinha accused the Raj Bhawan of blocking key legislations and blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for it.

“It is clear that Raj Bhawan is working with a biased mindset,” he said, according to the Hindustan Times. “On one hand the BJP brags about the welfare of OBCs [Other Backward Class] and on the other hand, their governor is obstructing a law that intends to double their quota.”