Bill to amend Constitution to restore power of States, UTs to make own OBC lists now in Lok Sabha

The Union government on Monday introduced the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha, which seeks to restore the power of States and Union Territories to make their own OBC lists.

Social Justice Minister Dr Virendra Kumar introduced the Bill in the Lower House. On May 5, the Supreme Court had ruled that the 102nd Constitution Amendment Act took away the states’ power to declare Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) for grant of quota in jobs and admissions. The verdict essentially vested sole power with the Centre to identify the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) list.

An appeal by the government seeking review of the majority verdict was dismissed by the Supreme Court. As envisaged by the Supreme Court directive, the Constitution 127th Amendment Bill is expected to amend Articles 342 A – clauses 1 and 2 – and introduce clause 342 A (3), specifically authorising the states to maintain their state list.

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