Asia & Australia

December 18, 2017

Include farmers in OBC: SC PIL

Supreme Court Of India

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to include farmers in Other Backward Classes (OBC) irrespective of their caste and religion, the Supreme Court has served a notice to Centre, Gujarat government and the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

The petitioner, Rajeshkumar Patel challenged the September 13 office memorandum issued by the Centre and the office order of Gujarat government issued in October, which has increased the income slab from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh to include more number of people in OBC.

“There was no study or research conducted by neither the Central Government nor the State Government. In fact the State Government has readily adopted the office memorandum of the Central Government. The farmers who do not fall in the creamy layer be included in OBC category to ensure uplift for such farmers as constitutional rights considering them as occupational group,” the petition said.

Referring to a SC order in Indra Sawhney vs. Union of India case, the petition said, “The Impugned Office Memorandum and Office Order is ex-facie illegal and arbitrary and has been issued purely for political considerations disregarding the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in catena of Judgments”.

The petition also asked the court to provide direction to the government to prepare the survey report as well as the review report about the development and progress for inclusion and exclusion of classes who are getting the benefit of reservation under the provisions of law, as well as the method adopted for identification of backward classes.

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