NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said that its Status Quo order on the Gujjar quota for jobs and admissions in Rajasthan doesn’t preclude attempts by the democratically elected government to reach out to any agitating sections and work out a solution within its 50% quota ceiling.
“Our status quo order does not stop all processes,” said a bench comprising Justices Jasti Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul. “The state has the power to review its actions.”
“That is part of the democratic process,” Justice Chelameswar said.
The bench also rejected arguments by the Samta Andolan Samiti that the state government was wrong in negotiating with the Gujjar community, which had been agitating to press for its demand for quotas.
“The state has been brought to its knees by violent agitations,” argued Gopal Sankarnarayan, lawyer for the Samiti. However, the bench rejected his arguments.
“There’s nothing wrong with agitations as long as they are peaceful, nonviolent,” Justice Chelameswar said. The Samiti also accused the state of rushing to provide reservation for five communities without any fresh data to warrant the additional quotas. “Anything that the state does in the interregnum is not contemptuous,” Justice Chelameswar said last week. The top court said this while refusing to initiate contempt action against the Rajasthan government for creating a new 5% sub-quota for most Backward Classes within the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category for the Gujjars and the four other communities within the 50% cap.
The sub-quotas apply to both education admissions and jobs. The state introduced them in December 2017 through an executive order after an earlier attempt to create a separate quota for Gujjars by increasing the OBC quota from 21% to 26% had been stayed by the high court.
The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, would have taken quotas in the state from 49% to 54%.
The top court in November 2017 ordered the state to maintain status quo and not do anything in breach of the 50% quota rule while the high court ruled on its legality. The top court, however, set aside that part of the high court order which interfered with the legislative process.
Source : timesofindia