Orissa High Court: No reservations to OBC in 2022 Panchayat elections

OBC Quota Supreme Court Local Body General Category

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: December 23, 2021 at 19:19 IST

Orissa High Court declared that the backward classes will not have reservation in the coming Panchayat elections which are to be held in 2022.

This order issued was based on two important Supreme Court orders issued on December 6 and December 17, 2021.

The Orissa High Court stated, “There can be no reservation yet provided for BCCs in the post of Sarpanches in Odisha in the elections to be held. It is inevitable, therefore, for the government of Odisha to re-work the draft notification for holding of elections to the Panchayats, Panchayats Samitis and Zilla Parishads in 2022.”

In August 2021, the BJD had decided to reserve 27% of the seats in three-tier Panchayat polls for OBCs. This was done as a result of absence of a central law to determine the cap on percentage of reservation.

In the December 6, 2021 order, the Supreme Court stated that it is important for a “triple test” to be followed for deciding on the extent of quota to any category. Also, the proportion of reservation required must be specified and the reservation shall not exceed the limit of 50% seats reserved for SCs, STs and OBCs, all put together.

Based on the December 6 Supreme Court order, the division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice AK Mohapatra stated, “Although there is a Commission already set up by the Government of Odisha, satisfying the first of the triple test, the second of the triple test do not stand fulfilled as of date. In other words, there cannot be reserved seats for Sarpanches for the OBC category”.

Therefore, the State government will be coming up with a fresh draft notification and will also invite objections. The communication of final list will be made on 7 January, 2022.

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