National News Report

Calcutta HC Cancels All OBC Certificates Issued After 2010

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday canceled all OBC certificates issued in West Bengal since 2010, affecting those issued under the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government, which came to power in 2011. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rejected the court order, calling it a BJP conspiracy.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee affirmed that the state’s OBC reservation quota would continue. Banerjee emphasized that the Bill, which was passed by the cabinet and assembly, was based on a comprehensive house-to-house survey. She asserted that the government would not accept the court’s decision and would maintain the OBC reservations. Mamata said, “The BJP has conspired to stall it by using central agencies. How can the saffron party show such audacity?”.

In a significant ruling, the high court addressed petitions challenging provisions of The West Bengal Backward Classes (Other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) (Reservation of Vacancies in Services and Posts) Act, 2012. The court clarified that its decision would not impact individuals who have already secured jobs or selection under the OBC category.

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The division bench, consisting of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty and Justice Rajasekhar Mantha, struck down several classes listed for OBC reservation under the Act. The judgment is expected to affect a substantial number of people in the state, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

Notably, the court maintained that the state government’s executive orders classifying 66 OBC classes prior to 2010 were not challenged and thus remain unaffected. However, the bench quashed the executive orders classifying 42 OBC classes from March 5, 2010, to May 11, 2012. This decision was made with a prospective effect due to the illegality found in the reports recommending such classifications.
The bench said that the opinion and advice of the Backward Classes Commission is ordinarily binding on the state legislature under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

The bench directed the state’s Backward Classes Welfare Department, in consultation with the Commission, to submit a report to the legislature with recommendations for including new classes or for exclusion of remaining classes from the state list of OBCs.

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