SC puts stay on Allahabad High Court’s order, directing UP Govt to hold urban local body polls without reservation for OBCs

The Supreme Court stayed the Allahabad High Court order today, directing the Uttar Pradesh government to hold urban local body polls without reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Last week, the Yogi Adityanath government had moved the Apex Court challenging the High Court’s order asking it to proceed with the urban local body elections without reservation for OBCs since the government is yet to fulfill the triple test requirement laid down by the top Court for such reservation.

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had said that until the “triple test/conditions” as mandated by the Supreme Court is completed in all respects by the State government, no reservation for the Backward Class of citizens shall be provided in the urban local body polls.

However, noting that the process may take time to complete, the HC directed that the elections be held immediately.

A day after the HC order, the Uttar Pradesh government constituted a five-member commission to carry out a survey to ensure that the benefits of the reservation are provided to the OBCs on the basis of the “triple test”.

The OBC vote has been a decisive factor in UP politics, which has been, especially, crucial for the BJP and SP among the larger parties. The survival of several smaller parties in the State is dependent on various OBC caste groups they represent.

The triple test, as laid down by the SC, requires the State to set up a panel to conduct an inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness qua local bodies within the State; to specify the proportion of reservation required to be provisioned per local body in the light of recommendations of the commission, so as not to fall foul of overbreadth; and says that in any case such reservation shall not exceed an aggregate of 50 percent of the total seats reserved in favour of SCs/STs/OBCs taken together.

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