Patna HC Scrapped Bihar’s 65% Reservation Hike

  • 22 Jun 2024

On June 20th , 2024, Patna High Court’s a division bench of Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Harish Kumar set aside the Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (Amendment) Act, 2023, and The Bihar (In admission in Educational Institutions) Reservation (Amendment) Act, 2023 as ultra vires and violative of the equality clauses under Articles 14, 15 and 16.

Key Points

  • The Bihar legislature had in 2023 amended both Acts and increased the reservation from 50 per cent to 65 per cent in jobs and higher educational institutions.
  • The Bihar government had issued the gazette notification for the two reservation bills – Bihar Reservation of vacancies in posts and services (For SC, ST, EBC and OBC) Amendment Bill and the Bihar (In Admission In Educational, Institutions) Reservation Amendment Bill, 2023 – paving the way for increase in quota from the existing 50% to 65%. With this, total reservation in the state would have reached 75% after adding 10% to the economic and weaker sections (EWS).
  • Based on the findings of the caste survey in the state, the state government increased the quota for SC to 20 per cent, Scheduled Tribes to two per cent, Extremely Backward Classes to 25 per cent, and Backward Class to 18 per cent.

Reason for Scrapping Amendment

  • The amendments are violative of the Supreme Court verdict passed in the case of Indira Sawhney versus Union of India whereby a maximum ceiling of 50% was laid down.
  • The quota hike was also discriminatory in nature and violative of the fundamental rights to equality as guaranteed to the citizens by Articles 14,15 and 16.”