Published On: December 28, 2021 at 14:20 IST
Centre informed Supreme Court that putting a Stay on the elections to the reserved OBC (Other Backward Class) category seats in the upcoming Maharashtra Local Body Polls or the OBC seats being notified as General seats would lead to the deprivation of the OBC category for five years and would bring prejudice to the interests of the category.
The Centre stated, “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.”
The Centre also expressed that the questions being raised were having a Pan-India ramification and were of public importance.
In its statement, the Centre also highlighted that the utmost priority of the Union Government has been the upliftment of Scheduled Casted, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes. It also told the Apex Court that inadequate representation of OBCs in Local-Self Governments would defeat the primary object and purpose of decentralizing power.
The Centre also expressed that it shall be made a party in the matter so as to provide necessary assistance to the Supreme Court in implementing OBC reservation in the Local body elections in the country.
On December 17, 2021 the Apex Court had put a Stay on elections to OBC category seats stating that the Triple Test had not been fulfilled and that the seats must be renotified as General category seats. The State Election Commission of Maharashtra was asked to renotify the 27% OBC seats as General category seats by the Court.
The Bench was hearing an Application filed by Manmohan Nagar, President of Bhopal District Panchayat linked to a Petition filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court by him.
Nagar had challenged the Constitutional validity of Madhya Pradesh Ordinance (Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj and Gram Swaraj Amendment Adhiniyam) published on November 21, 2021. He contended that the Ordinance Violated Article 243 D which provides with reservation to SCs, STs and women in Panchayats on rotational basis. But the Ordinance had done away with the rotation of seats reserved for the OBC category.
The High Court declined Interim relief, thereafter he approached Supreme Court which noted that he had not challenged the State Election Commission notification on polls and directed him to approach the High Court. Later, Nagar filed an Application in the Apex Court requesting an Ad Interim Stay on the election notification.