Welcome to the official website of Youth For Equality, Mumbai. We thank all those who have been supportive of our efforts to create a fair and equitable society.
This is a forum of equals to oppose the recent CHANGE in reservation policy proposed by the Government of India. We are a non-political, non-violent and united group of individuals.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

SC refers OBC quota issue to larger bench

Raising several questions on the validity of the government's caste-based reservation policy, the Supreme Court on Thursday referred to a larger bench the controversial issue of 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes in elite Central educational institutions.

The court felt the government cannot adopt any bullying attitude which could impinge on the fundamental rights of the citizens.

Holding that the issue involved considerable importance of Constitutional law having an impact on the entire nation, a Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice P K Jain said the larger bench would have to examine whether the government has got unbridled powers to evolve reservation policies without any restrictions.

The court said that it would be the larger bench which would have to review the 93rd Constitutional amendment by which Article 15 (5) was inserted to provide reservation to socially backward sections.

The bench had earlier this year stayed the implementation of the provision relating to OBC reservation in elite institutions like IITs and IIMs in the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation by Admission) Act, 2006.

The Centre approached the court for an urgent hearing on the issue by a larger bench so that a decision could be given at the earliest to enable implementation of the reservation for the current academic year.

Pointing out that the government's reservation policy appears to be violative of various provisions like Articles 14, 15, 21 and 22 which guarantee fundamental rights, the bench wondered what was the yardstick being applied in perpetuating the policies.

The apex court felt that if the government wanted to adopt a policy it should have focused on ensuring compulsory education for illiterates irrespective of the caste barrier.

The bench also raised a query as to why minority educational institutions have been exempted from implementing the 27 per cent quota policy, which had been made mandatory for all non-minority educational institutions.

Inclusion of private educational institutions for the purpose of implementing the policy was unrelated to compelling time, computable data and violative of the constitutional provisions.

Referring to the judgement in the Indira Sawhney case, the court queried why the government failed to exclude the creamy layer from the benefits of reservation.