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PIL filed in Patna HC against hike in reservation for deprived castes

Patna: Two persons have jointly filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Patna High Court challenging the decision of the Nitish Kumar government enhancing the reservation for EBC, OBC, SC and ST in Bihar up to 65 per cent.

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Petitioners Gaurav Kumar and Naman Shrestha claimed that the enhancement of the reservation limit above 50% is a violation of the Constitution and fundamental rights of the common people.

“As per the provision of the Constitution, the parameters of reservation would be given on the basis of social and financial status of the people belonging to the backward class and not on the basis of population of the caste,” Gaurav Kumar said.

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“The Nitish Kumar government enhanced the reservation up to 65% on the basis of population of castes. Hence, 65% reservation has been given to EBC, OBC, SC and ST. Which means 35% people who belong to other castes come under the general category. This is a violation of the fundamental rights of the common people in Bihar,” Kumar said.

The Nitish Kumar government used the Bihar Reservation Amendment Act 2023 passed in both the Houses of the Bihar assembly on November 10 this year and Governor RV Arleker approved this Act on November 18. This Act was based on the outcome of a recently concluded caste based survey.

With this, the people of Bihar who come under the Extremely Backward Castes (EBC), Other Backward Casted (OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) will get the benefit of reservation up to 65%. Earlier, the reservation was 50%. The Bihar government has also given 10% reservation to EWS in the upper caste category in the state. Hence, a total of 75% reservation has been given to people who come under the reserved category and EWS. This will help candidates in admissions to various educational institutions as well as in government jobs.

People coming under EBC had 18% reservation in the past. After this bill, the Bihar government has enhanced the reservation to 25%. Similarly, the OBC category with 12% reservation will now get 18%. SC had 16% reservation in the past and will get 20% and ST having 1% reservation will get 1% more to reach 2%.

Bihar is not the first state to have 75% reservation for EBC, OBC, SC, ST and EWS. As per the new reservation bill, Tamil Nadu has 79%, Jharkhand has 77%, Chhattisgarh has 76%, Telangana has 75%, and Maharashtra has 72%.

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