In a crucial verdict, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the Centre’s notification to extend the benefit of reservations under OBC (Other backward class) category to the Jat community in nine states.
Slamming the government, the apex court said that ‘possible non-inclusion of a caste in past OBC lists cannot be the basis for further wrong inclusions.’ It emphasized that caste, though an important factor, cannot be the sole factor to decide backwardness in the society.
Quashing the March 4, 2014, notification by the then UPA government, the apex court said: “We can’t agree that politically organised Jats are backward class so as to be entitled to OBC reservation.”
The apex court also questioned how the Modi government could overlook the findings of an OBC panel which stated that Jats were not a backward class.
The UPA government had announced reservation for Jats before the General Elections held in May 2014.
Ironically, the Narendra Modi government too had backed the UPA decision to extend OBC reservation to Jats, saying that it was not inspired by electoral considerations but a bonafide decision in public interest.