Calcutta HC Nullifies All OBC Certificates Issued in West Bengal Post-2010

Calcutta HC Nullifies All OBC Certificates Issued in West Bengal Post-2010

The Calcutta High Court has nullified all Other Backward Classes (OBC) certificates issued in West Bengal post-2010, ruling several classes as illegally classified under a 2012 Act for state reservations.

This decision affects certificates issued during the Trinamool Congress administration, led by Mamata Banerjee since 2011.

The judgment, delivered by a bench, comprising Justices Tapabrata Chakraborty and Rajasekhar Mantha, responded to a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the OBC certification process in West Bengal. The court invalidated executive orders from March 5, 2010, to May 11, 2012, which classified 42 classes as OBC, citing the illegality of the reports supporting these classifications.

However, the court assured that individuals from the invalidated classes who are already employed, benefited from reservations, or succeeded in selection processes would not be affected by this ruling.

The bench emphasized that the state legislature is typically bound by the Backward Classes Commission's advice under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

The court has directed the state's Backward Classes Welfare Department to consult the Commission for recommendations on updating the OBC list.

In response, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the court's decision, alleging it was a conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She asserted that the OBC reservation quota, based on a thorough survey and approved by the cabinet and Assembly, would persist. Banerjee accused the BJP of using central agencies to obstruct the state's OBC reservation policy, questioning their audacity.

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