Rajasthan high court has rejected special backward class (SBC) reservation in the state. The high court, which on previous two occasions had stayed the SBC reservation for crossing the 50% upper limit, said on Thursday that the SBC Reservation Act was illegal so does the notification regarding its implementation. After the state Assembly passed two separate bills for providing 5% quota to the SBC, and 14% to Economically Backward Classes of unreserved categories in September 2015, a month later, the state government notified the SBC reservation. Notification for the EBC reservation was still pending. Since, Rajasthan already had 49% reservation that includes 21 per cent for OBCs, 16 per cent for SCs and 12 per cent for STs, the overall reservation in the state went up to 54% after the new SBC reservation Act of 2015 came into effect. If the EBC quota Act too came into force, the overall reservation would have reached 68%. However, two separate petitions were filed challenging constitutional validity of the SBC Reservation Act, 2015.
The SBC quota was first created in July 2008, when the Vasundhara government gave into Gurjar community’s demand for separate reservation following two violent protests in 2007 and 2008. While 5 per cent reservation was earmarked for the SBC comprising Gurjars and five other communities; another 14 per cent was given to Economically Backward Classes. That took the quota over 50 per cent, attracting a legal challenge and a stay on its implementation. The Act of 2008 was stayed by the high court first in 2009 and again in 2013. In 2010, the high court directed the state government in 2010 to carry out a quantifiable data collection exercise to justify quota to the SBC. In 2012, the state OBC commission, on the basis of a quantifiable survey justified SBC reservation and recommended inclusion of Banjara/Baldia/Labana, Gadia/Lohar/ Gadolia, Gurjjar/Gujjar, Raika/Raibari and Gadaria/Gayari into the new category. Rajasthan Government issued press note on 9th December to challenge the decision after study of detail judgement of High Court.