Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Monday reserved its order on the controversial reservation policy introduced recently in Uttar Pradesh whereby caste-based quotas were introduced at the preliminary stage itself, leading to violent protests in the city over the issue.
The Court also asked the state Public Service Commission not to conduct interviews for the ongoing civil services examinations for the next 10 days.
A division bench comprising Justices Laxmi Kant Mohapatra and Rakesh Srivastava reserved their judgement on a bunch of petitions filed by hundreds of students appearing in competitive examinations, who had challenged the aforesaid reservation policy.
Consequently, the interviews which were to commence on July 26 would now have to be rescheduled and by that time the verdict on the matter is also likely to be delivered.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioners, senior advocates, including Keshri Nath Tripathi and Ravi Kiran Jain told the Court that the new reservation policy was "illegal" and "unconstitutional" and intended to benefit candidates from "only one caste group considered close to the ruling party in the state".
The court also questioned the UPPSC`s "haste" in bringing in the new policy after being told that it was "passed by voice-vote after one of the members of the Commission brought forth the proposal".
The petitions were opposed by the UPPSC, which was represented by counsel Shashi Nandan, and the state government, through Additional Advocate General CB Yadav.
The three-tier reservation system introduced by Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission, which proposes caste-based quotas from the preliminary exams stage itself, has drawn flaks from students and several political parties.
Meanwhile, massive security arrangements are in place in the city in the wake of the violent protests over the issue that had rocked the city on July 15.
As precautionary measures, the district administration has ordered closure of all schools on Monday and Tuesday (today and tomorrow).
Traffic has been diverted on all roads leading to the UPPSC headquarters here with heavy barricading and deployment of forces in place.
Nearly 3,000 personnel of police, Provincial Armed Constabulary and Rapid Action Force have been pressed into service to keep a tight vigil even as senior officials are patrolling the areas where students are carrying out their agitations.