Bengaluru: The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday stayed the creation of two new categories of reservation by the State government for the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities and ordered status quo on the matter.
A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice PB Varale stayed the new categories and ordered status quo. The hearing of the PIL challenging the creation of the new categories has been adjourned to January 30.
The government, in the recently concluded Assembly session in Belagavi, had announced the creation of two new categories: 2C and 2D to include the Lingayats and Vokkaligas in it. The Panchamasali caste of Lingayats has been demanding inclusion in the 2A category.
The State has four categories of OBC: 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B based on the economic, social and educational status. These communities get preferential reservation in jobs and educational institutions based on the categories. While 2A are the most backward, 2B are moderate, and little above them are 3A and 3B.
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The two dominant communities — Vokkaliga and Panchamasalis — which are in 3A and 3B category have been demanding reservations under 2A status, and the government decided to abolish 3A and 3B categories. The government decided to create two new categories of 2C and 2D. Those who are presently 3A and 3B would now find place in 2C and 2D.
The BJP government decided to do away with the 3A and 3B categories based on the recommendations of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes in a report. The interim report submitted to the government by the Commission recently was challenged through a public interest litigation (PIL). The PIL filed by D G Raghavendra had claimed that the Commission’s interim report had recommended inclusion of Panchamashali caste in the 2A Category.
However, such a demand was rejected by the Commission in 2000. The petition had sought to place the interim report of the panel before the court. Before this, the government announced the creation of new categories.