Supreme Court’s decision on OBC reservation for the UP ULB elections

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On January 4, 2023, the Supreme Court of India stayed the Allahabad High Court's decision regarding the involvement of OBC (Other Backward Class) in the upcoming Urban Local Body (ULB) elections. This decision was made after filing a Special Leave Petition by the State Government in the Apex Court. On December 29, 2022, the UP Government moved to the top court after hearing from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. 

The bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha passed the order in a petition filed by the Government of Uttar Pradesh challenging the decision of the Allahabad High Court on OBC reservation in ULB elections. Earlier on December 27, 2022, the state administration holds the elections for ULB without OBC reservation as directed by the Allahabad High Court.  

The impugned judgment of the High Court determined that “It is further directed that until the triple test/ conditions as mandated by the Apex Court in K. Krishna Murthy and Vikas Kishanrao Gawali is completed in all respects by the State Government, no reservation for the backward class of citizens shall be provided.” Further directing to conduct ULB elections without including reservation for OBC. 

While hearing Vaibhav Pandey vs. the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court stayed the order of Allahabad HC. The CJI stated that the State Government would issue delegation and financial powers and ensure that the administration of local bodies would not be hampered. A five-member commission was formed by the administration for providing OBC reservations in ULB elections. Moreover, the Solicitor General mentioned that the tenure for the newly appointed commission was six months and ensure that an appropriate process would be followed to complete the exercise before March 31, 2023. In addition, the Supreme Court also highlighted that “The notification to be issued for elections shall include the reservation for women in terms of the constitutional provisions.”