Bihar for inclusion of 65 pc quota in 9th Schedule to make it immune to legal scrutiny

Bihar for inclusion of 65 pc quota in 9th Schedule to make it immune to legal scrutiny

Patna, Nov 22 (PTI) The Bihar government on Wednesday decided to urge the Centre to incorporate the hiked reservation for deprived castes from 50 to 65 per cent in state government jobs and educational institutions in the 9th schedule of the Constitution, so that it is guaranteed immunity from legal scrutiny, an official said.

The Ninth Schedule of the Constitution includes a list of Central and state laws that cannot be challenged in courts. In 1992, the Supreme Court capped reservations for the backward classes at 50 per cent.

The Cabinet also increased the dearness allowance of government employees in Bihar by 4 per cent. They will get a DA of 46 per cent with effect from July 1 this year, Additional Chief Secretary (Cabinet Secretariat), S Siddharth, told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The Nitish Kumar government on Tuesday issued gazette notifications for raising the quota for deprived castes to 65 per cent, after Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar gave his assent to two bills, paving the way for implementing the new reservation system.

On Wednesday, the Bihar Cabinet in a meeting chaired by the chief minister passed a resolution on asking the Centre to include the provision in the 9th schedule of the Constitution, Siddharth said.

'The state government is of the opinion that keeping in view the special circumstances, the inclusion of amended provisions of hiked reservation in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution will help in ensuring justice to deprived and backward sections,' Siddharth said.

The resolution was mooted by the General Administration Department.

Following a caste survey in Bihar, the state government tabled an analysis of it in the assembly earlier this month. The House then passed two bills - Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services Amendment Bill and the Bihar Reservation (Admission In Educational Institutions) Amendment Bill - to increase the quota.

The bills sought a hike in the quota for Scheduled Castes (SC) from 16 to 20 per cent, Scheduled Tribes (STs) from 1 to 2 per cent, extremely backward castes (EBCs) from 18 to 25 per cent and other backward classes (OBCs) from 15 to 18 per cent to elevate the total quantum of caste-based reservations from 50 to 65 per cent.

On the increased dearness allowance, Siddharth said, 'The increased dearness allowance will be effective from July 1, 2023. With the hike, the state government will spend an additional Rs 966 crore.' PTI PKD NN

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