Supreme Court scraps Jat reservation in 9 states

Supreme Court cancels UPA government's Jat reservation for 9 states, which was introduced in March 2014. "We set aside the notification to implement Jats in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC)," a bench of Justice Tarun Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman said. The bench also found fault with the Centre's decision to overlook the findings of the National Commission for Backward Classes stating that Jats do not deserve to be included in the Central list of OBC as they don't form socio-economic backward class. "Caste, though a prominent factor, cannot be the sole factor of determining the backwardness of a class," the bench said, while referring to the historic judgement rendered by a larger bench on the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations on OBC reservations.
The decision came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the OBC Reservation Raksha Samiti—an organization of members of communities that are included in the central list of backward classes. The PIL had alleged that the 4 March notification was issued by the then central government a day before the model code of conduct (MCC) for the Lok Sabha elections came into force to help the ruling party garner votes. On 1 April, the apex court had asked the Centre why it allegedly ignored the advice of the NCBC to keep the Jat community away from reservation benefits. The court had also said that the matter was “serious” and had directed the ministry of social justice and empowerment to place before it all the material, records and files pertaining to the decision, to see “whether there was application of mind or not” while issuing the 4 March notification. The current NDA government had in August last year supported before the apex court the UPA regime’s decision to include the Jat community in the central OBC list. It had said that the Cabinet took into account the findings of the report of an expert committee constituted by the Indian Council for Social Science and Research (ICSSR) before taking the decision. It had said that the government rejected the view of the NCBC and took the decision on the basis of findings of the expert committee.