Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Patna HC Admits Petition Against Reservation Hike in Bihar

The petition seeks the court to stay the decision to increase reservation, saying it is against constitutional rights.
The petition seeks the court to stay the decision to increase reservation, saying it is against constitutional rights.

Patna high court. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Patna: A petition has been filed in the Patna High Court against the Bihar government’s decision to increase reservation in the state from the existing 50% to 75%.

Petitioners Naman Sharesth and Gaurav Kumar, in their Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenged the decision to increase reservation and described it as a violation of fundamental rights.

The petition seeks the court to stay the decision to increase reservation, saying it is against constitutional rights. The court has reportedly admitted the petition for hearing.

The Bihar Legislative Assembly unanimously passed the two bills on the reservation policy on November 9. These are the Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (For SC, ST, EBC and OBC) Amendment Bill and the Bihar (In Admission in Educational Institutions) Reservation Amendment Bill. After the Assembly passed the bills, the Governor approved both bills on November 18, following which the Bihar government on November 21 issued a gazette notification regarding the same.

Following the presentation of socio-economic data in the House in early November, the Bihar cabinet, on the same evening, approved a proposal to increase reservation in government jobs and educational institutions from the existing 50% to 75%, including 10% for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections). Kumar then informed the House that his government would present a Bill on November 9 in the Assembly to implement the reservation hike for SCs, STs, OBCs, and EBCs as per their share in the state’s population as reflected in the caste survey report released last month.

The new reservation legislature includes provisions for an 18% quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 25% for Extreme Backward Classes (EBCs), 20% for Scheduled Castes (SCs), and 2% for Scheduled Tribes (STs).

The state government’s decision to increase reservation limits aligns with the caste survey report’s data, which revealed the actual situation of various castes and their socio-economic status. 

According to the Bihar caste survey report released on October 2, 2023, Bihar comprises 215 castes, with a total population of 13.7 crore. This includes 36% EBCs, 27% OBCs (combining OBCs and EBCs), 19% SCs (Dalits), and 1.68% STs (Adivasis).

Last week, Bihar’s Finance and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, demanded a constitutional amendment to increase reservations if the opposition BJP supports reservations. He stressed the state government’s demand to include reservation increments in the Ninth Schedule, seeking immunity from judicial review.

However, on Monday (November 27), the ruling JD-U's national president Lalan Singh in his reaction after the filing of the petition, told the media that it was the BJP that violated the constitutional rule by giving 10% EWS reservation for poor among upper castes, which was above the 50% reservation limit.

 “Bihar has decided to increase reservation on the basis of revelations of the caste survey report. BJP has been opposed to reservation since the beginning and against it. The saffron party simply dislike reservation," he alleged.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram