A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the Kamal Nath government on a petition filed by Omkar Singh Kushwaha, who said the 13% increase would take the total quantum of reservation to 63%, which was in breach of the 50% cap on quota imposed by the SC in 1992.
On a petition challenging the same ordinance, the Madhya Pradesh HC had directed the state government not to implement the increased quota and continue to give reservation to OBCs at the earlier 14% slab in government jobs and admissions to educational institutions.
Interestingly, the CJI-led bench had on April 5 refused to entertain a petition seeking stay on implementation of additional 5% OBC quota for Gurjar, Banjara, Gadia Lohar, Raika and Gadaria communities, which was enacted on February 13 by the Ashok Gehlot government.
On April 5, petitioner’s counsel Abhinav Sharma argued that a similar attempt by the Rajasthan government in 2015 was quashed by the HC and the SC had ordered status quo on its implementation. But a bench led by CJI Gogoi said the main petition was pending consideration of the HC. “We will not entertain this petition against the HC’s interim order refusing stay,” it had said while disposing of the plea.
Sharma had made identical arguments, that 5% quota for Gurjars and others breached the 50% ceiling put by a constitution bench of the SC in Indra Sawhney case in 1992. The Rajasthan HC had sought the state’s response but had declined stay implementation of 5% additional quota.