Allahabad HC Quashes UP Govt Order Notifying 18 OBCs as SCs

Similar orders had been issued by the Samajwadi Party governments in 2005 and 2016 before the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government's order in 2019.

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Prayagraj: The Allahabad high court on Wednesday, August 31, quashed the Uttar Pradesh government orders which included 18 other backward classes (OBC) in the list of scheduled castes (SC).

A bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice J.J. Munir allowed a public interest litigation that challenged the notifications issued in 2016 and 2019.

The PIL was filed by the Dr. BR Ambedkar Granthalaya Evam Jan Kalyan, Gorakhpur and others.

The then Akhilesh Yadav government issued a notification on December 22, 2016, which provided for the inclusion of 18 OBC castes in the SC category.

However, the high court put a ban on the issuance of SC certificates to these 18 OBC castes on January 24, 2017.

This was followed by another such notification by the Yogi Adityanath government on June 24, 2019, but the court intervened again and put a restriction on the process.

The SP government led by Mulayam Singh Yadav had issued a similar order in 2005 but it was stayed by the Allahabad high court.

Two years later, the Mayawati government quashed the order but subsequently wrote to the Union government extending her support for it.

Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the court’s decision, Samajwadi Party said that the reservation to the 18 most backward communities got cancelled due to ineffective action by the BJP government in court.

“SP President Shri Akhilesh Yadav had fulfilled his promise to include 18 most backward castes in the Scheduled Castes, which was rejected by the BJP’s central government,” the party said in a tweet in Hindi from its official Twitter handle.

“Now the reservation has got cancelled due to poor handling of the case by the BJP’s Yogi Adityanath government and due to lack of support from the BJP government at the Centre,” it added.

“BJP also gave lollipops to these castes but did not keep its promise. This is a complete betrayal of those of the 18 most backward castes. Where are those BJP leaders who do politics of backward castes and the leaders of their allies? An answer is needed from the BJP government for its anti-backward step,” he said.

The castes which the respective SP and Yogi governments intended to include in the SC category were Majhwar, Kahar, Kashyap, Kevat, Mallah, Nishad, Kumhar, Prajapati, Dheevar, Bind, Bhar, Rajbhar, Dhiman, Batham, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machchhua.