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High Court Struck Down Bihar 65% Quota Rule

High Court Struck Down Bihar 65% Quota Rule:

The Patna High Court struck down the Bihar government’s decision to increase the reservation quota from 50% to 65% for Backward Classes (BC), Extremely Backward Classes (EBC), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in educational institutions and government jobs.

  • This move by the Bihar government has raised important questions about the legal limits on reservation policies in India.
    What is the Background of the High Court’s Ruling?
  • In November 2023, the Bihar government issued gazette notifications to raise the quota for deprived castes from 50% to 65%.
  • This decision was taken following a caste-based survey report, which showed the need for increased representation of BC, EBC, SC and ST communities.
  • The Bihar Assembly unanimously passed the Bihar Reservation Amendment Bill in November 2023 to implement this 65% quota.
  • A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed challenging the Bihar government’s decision to increase reservations beyond 50%.
  • The Patna High Court ruled that the 65% quota violated the 50% limit set by the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney case (1992).
  • The court argued that the state government’s decision was not based on “adequate representation” in government jobs, but on the proportional population of these communities.
  • The court also noted that together with the 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota, the bill has pushed total reservation to 75%, which is unconstitutional.