Patna HC strikes down hike in reservations for deprived castes from 50 to 65 per cent

The order has come as a major setback for the ruling NDA as well as the opposition RJD and Congress, as they had staked their claim for increasing the reservation quota from 50 per cent to 65 per cent.
Representational image.
Representational image. (Express Illustrations)

PATNA: In a significant development, the Patna High Court on Thursday set aside the Bihar Reservation (for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes) (Amendment) Act, 2023, and the Bihar (in admission in educational institutions) Reservation (Amendment) Act, 2023, under which the reservation quota was increased from the existing 50 per cent to 65 per cent.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Harish Kumar considered a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that challenged the amendment passed by the Bihar Legislature to increase the reservation for Backward Classes, Extremely Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes from the existing 50 per cent to 65 per cent.

Representational image.
Why raising the quota is not a solution to Bihar's caste woes

In addition, 10 per cent of seats are reserved for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). If taken together, 75 per cent of seats in government jobs and educational institutions were reserved for SCs, STs, OBCs, EBCs, and EWS.

Only 25 per cent of seats were open for the unreserved category, as per the Bihar government’s order issued in December last year.

The High Court set aside the amendments as ultra vires and violative of equality under the Indian Constitution. The final order in the matter is awaited.

The HC order has come as a major setback for the ruling NDA as well as the opposition RJD and Congress. Both factions had staked their claim for increasing the reservation quota from 50 per cent to 65 per cent, besides 10 per cent of seats reserved for EWS.

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