5 lakh OBC certificates will be canceled in Bengal, what will be the impact of Calcutta High Court's order on politics?

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
5 Min Read

New Delhi : In a surprise move, the Calcutta High Court on May 22 canceled 5 lakh OBC certificates issued by the state government in West Bengal since 2010. The High Court declared such reservation in jobs and services in the state illegal. The Court said that in fact religion appears to be the only criterion for declaring these communities as OBCs. The court said, it believes that selecting 77 sections of Muslims as backward classes is an insult to the entire Muslim community. The High Court said that this Court cannot ignore the suspicion that the said community (Muslims) was considered an instrument for political purposes.

Challenge to state reservation law

The High Court passed this order on petitions challenging the provisions of the state's Reservation Act 2012. The court clarified that if the members of the categories whose OBC status has been removed are already in service or have availed the benefit of reservation or have been successful in any selection process of the state, then their services will not be affected by this decision. The Court removed from the relevant list 37 classes which had received the benefit of reservation as OBCs under the West Bengal Backward Classes (other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) (Reservation of Vacancies in Services and Posts) Act, 2012. The Court also struck down a September 2010 executive order on the grounds that the Commission was not consulted. It was through this order that OBC reservation was increased from 7 percent to 17 percent. There was a provision of 10 percent reservation for A category and 7 percent reservation for B category.

Recognising sections of the Muslim community as OBCs for electoral gain would leave them at the mercy of the relevant political establishment. This may deprive them of other rights. Therefore, such reservation is an affront to democracy and the Constitution of India as a whole.

Calcutta High Court

What will be the impact of the decision?

The immediate impact of the order can be seen in Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Purulia, Bankura, Bishnupur, Jhargram and Medinipur seats in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections to be held on May 25 in West Bengal. Along with this, this decision has given BJP another opportunity to attack the opposition. The NDA has already been accusing the opposition of Muslim appeasement. A weapon was recovered from it after the High Court order. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she would not obey the Calcutta High Court's order to abolish the OBC status of some classes in the state. She indicated that the government would challenge this order in the Supreme Court. Addressing an election rally, Banerjee said that OBC reservation will continue in the state as the bill related to it has been passed within the ambit of the Constitution. The Trinamool chief accused the BJP of conspiring to stop OBC reservation by using central agencies. Till May 2011, the Left Front government led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) was in power in West Bengal. After that the Trinamool Congress government came to power. According to an estimate, the number of people listed under the OBC category in West Bengal after 2010 is likely to exceed 5 lakh.

Calcutta High Court has given a big slap to the Indi alliance. The court has canceled all the OBC certificates issued since 2010. Why? Because the West Bengal government had issued unwanted OBC certificates to Muslims for the sake of vote bank.

PM Modi during an election rally

PM Modi targeted

Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the opposition over the decision of the Calcutta High Court. PM Modi said that the court's decision is 'a big slap' for the opposition. He alleged that the opposition Indian Alliance's “obsession with appeasement” has crossed all limits. PM Modi said that whenever he says the word 'Muslim', he is accused of making communal statements. He said that he was only exposing the opposition by 'bringing out the facts'. The PM said that the High Court gave this decision because the West Bengal government issued unwanted OBC certificates to Muslims just for the sake of vote bank.

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