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Patna HC strikes down Bihar govt’s quota hike from 50 pc to 65 pc

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New Delhi, June 20: In a major blow to the Bihar government, the Patna High Court on Thursday struck down the decision to increase the reservation from 50 per cent to 65 per cent for Backward Classes, Extremely Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the state, brought into effect last year.

The quota hike was applicable in jobs and educational institutions in the state. A division bench led by Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran revoked the amendments passed by the Bihar Assembly in 2023, saying that they violated the equality clause under Articles 14, 15, and 16 of the Constitution.

The quota was raised by the Bihar government after it carried out a caste survey in the state. In a notification issued in November 2023, it sought to amend the existing reservation laws.

A petition was filed in the Patna High Court by petitioner Gaurav Kumar, challenging the decision of the Nitish government. The petitioner argued that as per the Supreme Court’s judgement, the reservation can’t extend beyond 50 per cent.

The Nitish government’s decision would have brought the quota to a total of 75 per cent in the state, which included 20 per cent for SCs, 2 per cent for STs, 25 per cent for Extremely Backward Classes, 18 per cent for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10 per cent for Economically Backward Classes. Last year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also nullified a legislation by the Haryana government, which sought to provide 75 per cent reservation in Haryana-based industries for state residents.

IANS

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