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SC directs Maha’tra govt, SEC to hold local body polls without 27% OBC reservation

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Mumbai: Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that local body polls in Maharashtra will be held without reservation for other backward classes (OBC), as the apex court rebuked the state government for introducing 27% reservation for OBCs through an ordinance last year. The top court also directed to hold local bodies elections without OBC reservation.

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The requirement of collecting empirical data as a precondition for providing OBC reservation in Maharashtra’s local body elections was laid down by the Supreme Court on March 4, last year. This judgment directed the state government to set up a dedicated commission to examine backwardness and extent of OBC population in each municipal council.

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On June 29, 2021, Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission was constituted for this purpose, but since this exercise would take time, the state issued an ordinance by amending provisions in two legislations – Maharashtra Village Panchayats Act and the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961.

The state had filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding census data on OBCs.

The petitioners had earlier approached the Bombay high court challenging the ordinance. On November 18, 2021 the high court issued notice on their petitions, but did not grant any stay. Later, when the SEC notification announcing the election process was put out, the petitioners approached the apex court, seeking urgent stay of the ordinance and its effect in the local body polls.

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