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No OBC Reservation for Jats: Supreme Court
Mar 18, 2015

The Supreme Court scrapped reservation for the Jat community given by the UPA government in nine states of India in March last year.

Key Points

  • The Supreme Court ruled that caste should not be the sole basis to decide backwardness of a community and quashed the Centre's decision to grant OBC reservation to Jat community.

  • Possible wrong inclusion of a caste in the OBC list in the past cannot be the basis of further wrong inclusions.

  • The Apex court said the backwardness of a caste must be decided according to the economic and social status and not only on caste. 

  • The inclusion of politically-organised castes like the Jats in the OBC list is not good for other backward classes.

  • The court asked why communities are being increasingly included in the OBC list but they are not being removed from the category with passage of time.

  • The Apex court also asked the Centre to consider new and emerging form of backwardness to decide the OBC list and referred the case of transgenders which must be given benefits of OBC reservation.

  • On April 1, 2014, the Apex court had asked the Centre why it allegedly ignored the advice of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to keep the Jat community away from reservation benefits.

  • NCBC stated that Jats need not be included in the Central list of OBC as they don't form socio-economic backward class.

  • The court said though the Union of India is empowered under the constitutional scheme to provide reservation to a particular class, but it cannot be permitted to do so on the basis of a decade-old-finding about the backwardness of a caste.

  • The Jat reservation was introduced by the UPA government in March 2014.


The current NDA government had in August 2014 supported before the Apex court the UPA regime’s decision to include the Jat community in the Central OBC list. It had said that the Cabinet took into account the findings of the report of an expert committee constituted by the Indian Council for Social Science and Research (ICSSR) before taking the decision. It had said that the government rejected the view of the National Commission for Backward Classes and took the decision on the basis of findings of the expert committee.


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