Vikas Kishanrao Gawali Vs The State of Maharashtra

Court: Supreme Court of India

Citation: (2021) 6 SCC 73

Petitioner: Vikas Kishanrao Gawali

Respondent: State of Maharashtra

Date of Judgement: 4th March 2021

Bench: AM Khanwilkar,Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi, JJ.

Facts of the case

Facts of the case

The writ petition was filed in furtherance of  K. Krishna Murthy v. Union of India (2010) which, while upholding the validity of Articles 243-D(6) and 243-T(6) does not lay down a provision to decide the quantum of reservation for OBC and the same shall be decided by the State legislation by appointing dedicated commissions and conducting rigorous empirical      investigations into the nature and implication of the backwardness.

The following writ petitions were filed to hold Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 [also referred to as the 1961 Act], ultra vires to Articles 243-D, 243-T, including Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Further, the petitions prayed that the notifications dated 27.7.2018 and 14.2.2020 be quashed and set aside, as they provided for reservations exceeding 50% in districts of Maharashtra, namely-Washim,     Akola, Nagpur and Bhandara.

The dictum of the Consitution bench of K. Krishna Murthy v. Union of India (2010) urged the State legislations to relook the existing policy regarding the reservation in local self-government bodies in light of the judgement. As the legislature of the State of Maharashtra failed to relook the existing provisions after directions were issued to all states, several petitions challenging the validity of Section 12(2)(c) of the 1961 act and the notifications dated 27.7.2018 and 14.2.2020 had been filed before the Bombay High court, but the situation remained unchanged. Hence, these petitions were filed before the Supreme court and the Constitution bench of this court considered the said petition and combined it along      with 3 other writ petitions.

Issued Raised

  1. Is Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 ultra vires to Articles 243-D (6) and 243-T (6) of the Constitution of India?
  2. Can the reservation for SC/ST/OBC in the concerned local bodies exceed the upper limit of 50 per cent of the total seats?


Contentions made by petitioner:

  • The counsel of petitioner, the act stated is infringing the provisions of Articles 243D and 243T, as well as Articles 14 & 16 of the Indian Constitution. To highlight the excess reservation percentage and seats in the identified districts, which account for more than 50% of the total seats, they created a visual chart subdivided by district.
  • According to the counsel for the petitioner, the defendants are no longer authorized to retain more than 50% of the seats in the various local governments by providing quota for SC/ST/OBC, as stated in the dicta in the ruling K. Krishna Murthy & Ors. v. Union of India.
  • They argued the state authorities must fulfil other requirements in addition to this permanent statistical restriction before distributing seats for OBCs in local governments.
  • They argued even that the State Government is not attempting to form a Commission to look into the presence and impact of underdevelopment and then take appropriate action.
  • Moreover, they argued that the defendants are prohibited from reserving 27% of the seats in their respective Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis due to Section 12 of the 1961 Act.

Contentions made by defendant:

  • The counsel for the respondents claimed that the reservations in favour of OBCs, which are tied to population, are excessively wide and that, if adopted, they would be in direct contradiction to a dicta from this Court’s Constitution Bench, in which they were noted and rejected.
  • They argued that because the present writ petitions sought the same remedy and were already pending before the High Court, this Court should not accept them. They also stated that they had asked the High Court to decide the matter, but we believe it is appropriate because the main concern is the extent of the declaration and desired action made by the Constitution Bench of this Court in K. Krishna Murthy (supra), as well as their execution in letter and spirit. And it’s appropriate
  • Before ordering the State’s Election Commission to reserve seats for OBCs in local authorities, the lawyer stated that this issue may and will be handled on the basis of the incontrovertible truth that.
  • The writ petition may be postponed for further consideration, according to a suggestion made by the counsel in its statutory declaration. But, in addition to the thorough written entries submitted at the completion of the hearing arguments, the State has already filed a centralized affidavit in this Court.
  • The council concluded that the special leave appeal should be rejected on the basis of evidence and condition.


The case Judgement was passed on March 4, 2021, after a challenge was filed against Section 12 (2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961, which awarded OBCs 27% quotas in local governments. The complaint also in question the Maharashtra State Election Commission’s statement, which authorized reservation at a level higher than 50%. According to the Court, the barriers to education and employment are vastly different from those that restrict people from joining political parties. This Court’s attitude is quite admirable. The judgement in K. Krishna Murthy v. UOI was cited by both sides. The state government, on the other hand, refused to follow the verdict. to form a specialized Commission to perform an action empirical study on the nature of backwardness.

In order to minimize overbreadth, the proportion of reservations that must be submitted must be indicated. The total number of seats reserved for SC/ST/OBCs shall not exceed 50% of total available seats.

In announcing that seats have been reserved for OBCs in the relevant district assembly, the authorizing language of section 12(2)(c) must be read further down to indicate that it may be utilized only if three requirements are satisfied. The court decided that the challenged notices were unlawful and illegal in the sense that they provided for OBC seat reservations. As a result, the electoral results of Members are null and void in law, and the seats vacated as a result of such a declaration must be replaced as quickly as practicable. Moreover, the court determined that the state electoral commission’s declaration, to the extent that it provides OBCs with a reservation, is invalid or lacks legal authority. His judgement dealt fairly well with reserving members for OBCs in politics, and the court was quite cautious in noting that social and economic backwardness are not associated with political weakness in the quoted case. Access to education and employment is impeded in distinct ways from access to state parties.

The decision in the miscellaneous application of case was issued on October 21, 2021. Its miscellaneous application was dismissed, and it was determined that nothing additional needed to happen in this case. After that, the state of Maharashtra issued an order, which was taken up. Even though, the court will not debate its effectiveness or validity during this hearing. When the case is heard, all of the plaintiffs’ arguments will be considered and brought in the proceeding.

Defects of Law

The judgment was concluded to be fairly favoring the reservation of members for OBCs in politics, and the court was very clear that it has nothing to affect and doesn’t involve the social and economic conditions of the communities which are not associated with political weakness in the notable case. Availability and implementation of policies to education and employment is impeded in unique methods in accessing the state.

The Court accelerated to involve the declaration of the legal of the 50 per cent (quantitative limitation) with respect to reservations in favor of SCs/STs/OBCs quotas noted should not be violated. The statement pointed out is that the disadvantages involving the sector of education and economic is no way related with the political sector and doesn’t involve the provisions involved in the act and couldn’t suppress the actions.


his judgement has a huge influence on society, in the view because it is both simple and straightforward. Although the administration and the court system differ on the reservation of weaker portions, this judgment will undoubtedly aid development. Establishing committees to investigate backwardness in the local public is also a good concept, because each local body has various castes and conditions, with some of them are backward in other municipalities but not in the relevant region.

In this case of Vikas Kishanrao Gawali vs. State of Maharashtra is a watershed moment in legal history. In addition, the important legislative issues pertaining to reserve are thoroughly reviewed in this decision. As a result, the establishment of commissions and committees will be ensured. And the reservation is distributed rightly to the classes in the uniformly in society.

Submitted By: Shreya Datta Gupta

KLE Society’s Law College

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