Supreme Court declines plea against Gujjar quota

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  1. The Supreme Court has declined a plea challenging Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Rajasthan government had passed the bill in February 2019.
  2. The bill seeks to provide 5% reservation to Gujjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria. At present, the communities are provided 1% reservation under More Backward Classes (MBC).
  3. The bill has increased the OBC reservation in Rajasthan from the present 21% to 26%. It has also increased the income limit for defining creamy layer in OBC from Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 8 lakhs/annum.
  4. The bill was challenged in the Rajasthan High Court on the basis that a) It breached the 50% ceiling on reservation laid down by the Supreme Court in the Indra Sawhney judgment and b) It cited the proportion of Gujjars’ population as per the last Census instead of referring to the quantifiable data of backwardness in education and public employment. The High court had refused to grant interim relief on the petition.
  5. The Supreme Court has refused to take up the plea against the Rajasthan High Court on the grounds that it is already pending in High Court.