Recall OBC quota order or defer MP local polls: Centre in SC | India News

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Sunday moved the Supreme Court seeking recall of its December 17 order de-reserving seats for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in MP panchayat polls while asserting that holding elections without ensuring adequate representation of the community in elected bodies in grassroots-level governance was contrary to the mandate of the Constitution.
Alternatively, the SC could defer the polls for four months and seek a report within three months from the commission already engaged in identifying seats to be reserved for backward classes, the Centre suggested. Till the time elections were held with seats reserved for the OBC community, administrators could be appointed as a stop-gap arrangement, it said. Questioning the correctness of the SC’s December 17 order, the Centre said it was impermissible for the court to interfere at a stage when the election process, providing for representation of persons belonging to the OBC community, had already commenced.
“Any intervention at this stage would deprive the person belonging to the OBC community for five long years which by no stretch of logic can be said to be a short period causing grave prejudice to the backward class citizens,” it said. It said the SC’s order deprived the OBC community of representation in grassroots level governance, opportunities for developing leadership qualities and denied persons belonging to the OBC community chance to get elected to panchayats.
The MP government also moved an application seeking recall of the SC’s December 17 order and continuance of the panchayat elections as scheduled in the Election Commission’s December 4 notification, which reserved seats for OBCs. The state said that as per the 2011 Census, OBCs constituted 51% of the population and hence 27% reservation for backward classes in panchayat polls was in sync with the mandate of Article 243-O of the Constitution.
In its petition seeking recall of the SC order, the Centre said, “The issues raised in the present petition are of great public importance and have a pan-India ramification on the issue of implementation of OBC reservations in the elections throughout the country. Upliftment of SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes has been the utmost priority of the Union government and any inadequate representation of OBCs in local self-government defeats the very object, intent and purpose of the very idea of the de-centralisation of power and taking governance to the grass root level.”
Seeking impleadment in the petition challenging the MP government ordinance providing for 27% reservation in panchayat polls, the Centre said inadequate representation of OBCs in local self-government defeats the very object, intent and purpose of the very idea of decentralisation of power and taking governance to the grassroot level. The SC, in its December 17 order, had directed that seats reserved for OBCs be treated as general category ones.

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