The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday struck down the state government’s proposal of quota for SCs, STs, OBCs in rural and urban local bodies, directing the government to stick to the 50% quota as stipulated by the Supreme Court.

In an earlier order, the government had proposed 59.85% reservation in seats in local bodies for SCs, STs and OBCs. The proposal was challenged in the high court which ruled that the reservation limit cannot exceed the 50% cap. 

In a bench of Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari and Nainala Jayasurya, the lawyers for the petitioners argued that reservations over 50% were against the Supreme Court directives. 

The petitioners contended that the reservations were to be made as per the population census but in this case, the reservation for backward classes was proposed without any scientific data.

However, Advocate General S Sriram, representing the state, argued that the Supreme Court permitted reservation over 50% in special cases. 

He said 34% reservation in case of backward classes was arrived at only after taking into consideration the population. He also noted that even though there is 48.13% of BC voters, the reservation was restricted to 34%. 

The high court had reserved the order after hearing arguments of both the sides. The order was pronounced on Tuesday. 

The Andhra Pradesh government has informed the State Election Commission that it is ready to conduct elections by implementing the 50% quota as per the directions of the high court.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy addressed District Collectors and other top officials via video conference. He said they were prepared to conduct the elections to gram panchayats, Mandal and Zilla Parishads as well as municipalities and municipal corporations.

“We will go ahead with 50% quota as per the high court directive. We have accordingly asked the SEC to conduct the elections,” Municipal administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana told reporters.

Courtesy : DNA

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