NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court a dedicated commission formed to examine the issue of OBC reservations in urban local body polls has given its final report, paving the way for fresh notification for conducting elections in the state.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha which fixed the matter for consideration on March 24.
He said though the tenure of commission was six months, it finalised its report within three months.
Earlier this month, Justice (retired) Ram Avtar Singh, who led the commission, and four other members — retired IAS officers Chob Singh Verma, Mahendra Kumar, and former additional law advisers Santosh Kumar Vishwakarma and Brajesh Kumar Soni — met the CM chief minister at his official residence to hand over the report in presence of Urban Development Minister A K Sharma and officials of the Urban Development Department.
The commission was said to have compiled its report after touring all the 75 districts of the state in less than three months. It was reported that the commission found several anomalies on OBC reservation in the urban local body polls notified on December 5, 2022 and had recommended for removing them.
On January 4, 2023, the Supreme Court had stayed the Allahabad High Court’s direction to the Uttar Pradesh Election Commission to go ahead with the urban local body elections without giving reservations for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
The court had then said democratising the municipalities and giving true representation in the composition of the municipalities under Article 243T are both constitutional mandates.
The Uttar Pradesh government had then said that it has already set up a dedicated commission to collect data for representation of the OBCs.
The high court's December 27, 2022 order had come on pleas challenging the preparation of the OBC reservation draft without following the triple test formula prescribed by the Supreme Court.
In May, 2022, the top court had referred to the Constitution Bench decision in 'K Krishna Murthy (Dr) and Ors v Union of India & Anr' (2010), to hold that "triple test conditions" have to be fulfilled before providing reservations for the OBCs.
The conditions are to set up a dedicated commission to collect empirical data on backwardness, specify the proportion of reservation required in local body in light of recommendations of the Commission, and such reservation not to exceed aggregate of 50 % of the total seats reserved in favour of SCs/STs/OBCs taken together, it had said.