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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 17, 2007
Supreme Court refers OBC reservation issue to larger bench
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Supreme Court refers OBC reservation issue to larger bench

The Supreme Court on Thursday referred the issue of 27 percent reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central educational institutions to a larger bench.

New Delhi, May 17 : The Supreme Court on Thursday referred the issue of 27 percent reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central educational institutions to a larger bench.

The apex Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice P K Jain raised several questions on the validity of the Government's caste-based reservation policy.

The court observed that the government cannot adopt any unfair attitude which could intrude on the citizens' fundamental rights.

The reservation issue involved considerable importance of Constitutional Law having an impact on the entire nation, the Supreme Court said.

The larger Bench would have to examine whether the government has got unrestrained powers to evolve reservation policies, the court said.

The larger bench would have to review the 93rd Constitutional Amendment by which Article 15 (5) was inserted making provisions for extending reservation to socially and economically backward classes in aided and unaided educational institutions.

The 93d Amendment to the Constitution - enacted in Parliament on January 20, 2006 - adds Clause 5 to Article 15 of the Constitution, a fundamental right against discrimination by the state.

Article 15 (1) directs the state not to discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth or any of these. The new Article 15(5) is in the form of an exception to this clause.

Earlier, the court had dismissed the Centre's application seeking vacation of the stay to provide 27 per cent reservation to the OBC students.

Causing a major setback to the Centre, the court had stated that it found no reason to vacate the stay imposed by its March 29 interim order, directing the government to put on hold the implementation of OBC quota in the academic session 2007-08.

The government wants to increase the number of reserved seats from 22.5 percent to 49.5 percent by including 27 percent quota for the OBCs. This move has been strongly opposed by the general category students.

ANI

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