NEW DELHI: Pointing out that the Centre has not issued notification for classifying castes as OBC for reservation purposes after the 102nd constitutional amendment in 2018, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it has resulted in a vacuum as earlier lists became redundant after the National Commission for Backward Classes Act was repealed and sought an explanation from the government.
A five-judge Constitution bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat said tha the amendment doesn’t say that the earlier list of OBCs was to be assimilated and it seems that there is no OBC. It said Article 342A talks about notification by the President which has so far not been issued.
The amendment was brought to make the NCBC a Constitutional body and Article 342A was incorporated in the Constitution which says that ‘the President may with respect to any state or Union Territory, by public notification, specify the socially and educationally backward classes”. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said Article 342 A is an enabling provision and it says the President may issue notification. But the bench said, “Does it mean that we have a blank slate. If the earlier list is not assimilated and if you chose not to issue notification then there is no OBC.” TNN

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