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Uttar Pradesh suspends order adding 17 OBCs to SC list

Adityanath
The UP government cited an earlier high court order of 2017, saying it had mentioned that caste certificates can be issued subject to the outcome of an earlier writ petition pending before the court, to issue a fresh order on June 24, bringing 17 OBCs into the SC list.
After getting slammed by the Allahabad High Court last month, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has suspended its order, and two earlier orders issued by the preceding Akhilesh Yadav government, which had shifted 17 Other Backward Castes (OBCs) to the Scheduled Caste (SC) list.

The UP government has written to all district magistrates informing them that the three orders have been suspended, following the high court directive, and that all caste certificates in the state will be issued only as per the presidential notification issued in respect to the state. The UP government specified in the letter that no caste certificates will be issued on the basis of the three orders it had issued earlier.

The move to shift the 17 OBCs into the SC list, before the UP bypolls, was challenged by a petitioner before the Allahabad High Court. In its order on September 16, the court said, “It has been contended that the benefit of reservation to SC, ST and OBC can be made available only to those caste which are mentioned in the presidential notification and state government has no authority to add or subtract anyone or to clarify any entry in presidential notification so as to include or exclude any particular caste… and state government’s orders dated 22.12.16, 21.12.16 and 24.06.19 are wholly without jurisdiction.”

The UP government cited an earlier high court order of 2017, saying it had mentioned that caste certificates can be issued subject to the outcome of an earlier writ petition pending before the court, to issue a fresh order on June 24, bringing 17 OBCs into the SC list.

However, the high court September 16 order was critical of the UP government’s move. “Let respondent 3 (UP secretary) file a personal affidavit to explain under what provision aforesaid government orders have been issued. Until further orders of the court, we clarify that caste certificate should be issued strictly in accordance with Presidential notification and no certificate be issued pursuant to government orders dated 22.12.16, 21.12.16 and 24/06.2019,” said the order. The case will be heard next at the Allahabad High Court in November. The Akhilesh Yadav government had issued two similar orders in 2016 which were also challenged in the high court through a public interest litigation.
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