Blow to govt, SC refuses to stay quashing of sub-quota
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In a setback to the Centre, the Supreme Court today refused to stay the Andhra Pradesh High Court order quashing 4.5 per cent reservation for minorities within the 27 per cent OBC quota in central educational institutions like the IITs and IIMs.
Upset with the Union government's claim that the high court had wrongly assumed that the sub-quota of 4.5 per cent comprised socially and educationally backward class Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians, the Bench asked Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati on what basis the Centre had determined the figure of 4.5 per cent.
Saying it was "unhappy" that the Centre had filed an appeal without any supporting documents, the Bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said: "Without placing documents, how can you find fault with the high court (order)?"
The AG, incidentally, acknowledged in court that the Centre had failed to argue the case properly in the HC. The apex court asked the Centre to produce the material by tomorrow and adjourned the hearing to June 13.
In its petition, the Centre argued that the HC judgment was erroneous since as per the revised Central List of 1993, only two Muslim communities are included as being socially and educationally backward, implying that the same rule may have been applied for other communities. The Centre said that the HC also wrongly assumed that the sub-quota is for all minorities referred to in the judgment.
It also said that the HC erred in not taking into consideration the fact that there is no constitutional bar on the classification of backward classes into backward classes and more backward classes for the purposes of Article 16(4) of the Constitution. The HC also failed to appreciate that the basis of calculation of 4.5 per cent was the Mandal Commission report, which had estimated OBCs at 52 per cent of the total population, the Centre said.
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