‘Constitution bench clarified on 27% OBC quota’

The Supreme Court on Friday did not go into the issue of sorting out discrepancies arising out of implementation of 27 percent quota for admission of OBC candidates.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday did not
go into the issue of sorting out discrepancies arising out of
implementation of 27 percent quota for admission of OBC
candidates in central universities and institutions and said
the clarfication has already been given by the Constitution
Bench which had upheld its validity in 2008.

"The same (cut-off marks for OBC candidates) has been
clarified by the constitution bench. Why do we not make it
clear that nobody would go beyond that clarification," a
vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and AK
Patnaik said.

However, it preferred to leave the matter to be heard on
July 4 on the day of reopening of the court after summer
vacation by another bench headed by Justice RV Raveendran
which has been seized with a petition against the Delhi High
Court judgement which said the cut-off marks for OBC should be
10 per cent less than the minimum eligible marks for general
category candidates.

A five-judge Constitution Bench had on April 10, 2008,
upheld the validity of the law providing 27 per cent quota for
OBC`s in central universities and institutions.

However, every year on one or the other issues,
applications are filed seeking clarification on implementation
of the legislation.

During the brief hearing, it was pointed out and even the
bench said that the clarification in this regard has already
been made by the constitution bench which had on October 14,
2008, had said cut-off marks for OBC should be 10 percent
less than the marks fixed for general category candidates.

After making the remarks, the bench put up the matter for
hearing before the bench headed by Justice Raveendran.

"Let the bench which has issued the notice (in another
matter) decide on the issue. But I do not think that any bench
can deviate from what the consitution bench had said (in its
clarification)," one of the judges said.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by PV
Indersan, a former professor of IIT Madras, seeking
implementation of the apex court verdict by which the
constitutional validity of 27 percent quota for OBCs in
central universities was upheld on April 10, 2008.

The apex court further said that in the application,
Indersan has raised a very limited issue and that is to stay
the operations of the order of the Delhi High Court which is
being followed in JNU.

"The present SLP is already admitted and a notice has
been issued. We have to consider whether any stay is required
or not at this stage. We need not to go into the entire
thing," the bench said.

Senior advocate Indu Malhotra, appearing for the
petitioner, submitted that despite the clairfications of the
constitution bench, the Delhi High Court passed an order on
September 7, 2010, saying the minimum eligibility criteria for
admission under OBC category would be at a maximum 10 percent
below the minimum eligibility criteria fixed for general

However, it was opposed by senior advocate A
Mariarputham, appearing for the group of students from JNU,
who said the whole intitiative of the order was to give
benefit of the quota and not based on the last candidate of
the general category.

The vacation bench was told that the three judges in a
majority verdict had held that the cut-off marks for OBCs
should not be less than five per cent or 10 percent as
against the general category candidates.

"Admissions in Delhi University are being conducted on
the basis of reservations to OBC candidates with 10 percent
marks below the cut-off marks for general category students.

However in JNU, the procedure laid down by the impugned
judgement and order is being followed. Thus, there is a great
variance in admission procedures in central educational
institutions," the petitioner had said.

Requesting the apex court for an urgent hearing, the
petitioner said results of the entrance examination of JNU for
the current session have already been declared and interviews
are scheduled from July 4 onwards.

The court, however, decided not to give an urgent
hearing to the matter and posted it for Monday.


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