New Delhi: In a blow to the Centre, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Andhra Pradesh High Court order quashing 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities, carved out from the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, in the central educational institutions such as IITs.
While admitting the government’s Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the Andhra HC order, the apex court questioned the grant of 4.5 per cent reservation to minorities on religious ground.
It also issued notices and sought response from petitioners who had challenged the 4.5 per cent sub-quota.
The SC decision leaves the fate of 325 candidates hanging in balance, as they had cleared the IIT-JEE 2012 test under the 4.5 per cent sub-quota.
On Monday, the apex court had rapped the Centre for the way it had handled the "complex" and "sensitive" issue of reservation for minorities, while hearing its plea against the Andhra Pradesh HC order.
The Supreme Court had on Monday expressed its "unhappiness" that the Centre was blaming the High Court when it had itself failed to produce documents to support its case.
As directed by the SC, the Centre had yesterday placed before it the “relevant” material and documents on the basis of which it carved out 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities.
The SC Bench was critical of the Ministry of Human Resource Development rushing to the apex court with the appeal against the May 28 order of the High Court without documents to justify the policy of carving out 4.5 per cent sub-quota within the 27 per cent OBC reservation.
The Union government had moved the apex court challenging the HC order quashing the 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities.
The December 22, 2011 Office Memorandum for the sub-quota for socially and educationally backward classes of citizens belonging to minority communities in central educational institutions and jobs was announced by the Centre ahead of the Assembly Elections in five States including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.