The Supreme Court has approved OBC reservation in Madhya Pradesh local body elections, subject to a 50% reservation cap. The MP Election Commission has been given two weeks to notify the SC on the local elections. The Supreme Court issued an order on Tuesday ordering all states and Union Territories to ensure that if local elections are due after the five-year term ends, they must be held without waiting for the delimitation and reservation process to be completed.
The order was issued in response to a petition challenging provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Act, 1956, the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj Avam Gram Swaraj Adhiniyam, 1993, and the Madhya Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1961, under which the state government decided to introduce OBC reservation and change the number and extent of wards to be constituted in the concerned local bodies.
The Supreme Court has made it plain in previous decisions that any reservation exercise for OBCs or Economically Backward Classes (ESBC) groups must pass the ‘triple test’ of population verification, population percentage, representation in posts, and a 50% reservation limit.