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Quota for backward class hard reality: SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 23:55

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said
reservation in educational institutions and jobs for the
backward class is hard reality and students of general
category should understand it.

"We know what students (of general category) feel. We
understand their blood boils when they see students (of
reserved class) having less marks are getting admission but
they should know that reservation is the hard reality. They
should understand it. We cannot treat unequals as equal," a
bench of justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik said.
The bench, which made the remarks, referred the matter to
Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia for constituting an
appropriate bench to sort out the confusion on the use of
term cut-off in the law which upheld the 27 per cent quota for
OBC in central educational institutions.

The remarks were made by the bench when a lawyer for
anti-quota group pleaded that the standard of education will
go down if the quota system is implemented blindly without
any check on the quality of students admitted in the reserved

The court was hearing the issues pertaining to
discrepancies in implementation of 27 per cent quota for OBC
in central universities, the law for which was upheld by its
constitution bench on April 10, 2008.

The two-judge bench was to sort out the confusion on
the issue of cut-off marks to be adopted for admission of OBC

It was dwelling on whether the cut-off marks for OBC
should be only 10 per cent less than the marks on which the
admission closed for general category candidates or it should
not be less than 10 per cent of the eligibility criteria.
However, the high voltage arguments ended abruptly as
senior advocate P P Rao, appearing for anti-quota applicants,
said Justice Dalveer Bhandari should be made part of any bench
hearing the matter as he was one of the judges in the
five-judge constitution bench which had upheld the law for 27
per cent quota for OBC with some conditions.

The senior advocate said Justice Bhandari had used the
term "cut-off" in the judgement written by him.

The other two judges, Justices Arijit Pasayat and C K
Thakker, who had also used the same term has since retired.

He said that under such circumstances Justice Bhandari
can give clarification as to in what context the word cut-off
has been used in the judgement.

Rao said either justice Bhandari should be made part
of the bench headed by Justice Raveendran or if a constitution
bench is created he should be included in it.

Both Justice Raveendran and Justice Bhandari were
part of the five-judge constitution bench which had upheld the
OBC quota law. Others in the bench, the then Chief Justice of
India K G Balakrishnan and justices Pasayat and Thakker have
since retired.
The submission of Rao was opposed by advocates
appearing for OBC candidates who said the law should be
implemented in its true spirit.

However, the bench said since some reservations have
been expressed, it was inclined to refer the matter to the CJI
for constituting an appropriate bench.

The petitioner P V Indersan, a former professor of IIT
Madras, had sought implementation of an earlier apex court
verdict by which the constitutional validity of 27 per cent
quota for OBC`s in central universities was upheld by it on
April 10, 2008.

He submitted Delhi University is following a different
yardstick by which the gap in cut-off for OBC students and
general category students should not be more than 10 per cent
where as in JNU, the practice of 10 per cent relaxation in
minimum eligibility criteria is being followed.

He had approached the apex court against Delhi High
Court judgment which said the cut-off marks for OBC should be
10 per cent less than the minimum eligible marks for general
category candidates.


First Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 19:22

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