New Delhi, Sep 12: The Government notification providing 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in centrally-run educational institutions of higher studies violates the basic structure of the Constitution as it denies the benefit of reservation to minorities in the country, anti-reservationists told the Supreme Court today.
Senior counsel K K Venugopal appearing for Resident Doctors Welfare Association also contended before the five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan that secularism is the part of basic structure of the Constitution as has been held by this court in the S R Bommai case and hence the impugned notification providing reservation on the basis of caste is liable to be struck down as unconstitutional.
Other judges on the bench were -- Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker, V Ravindran and Dalveer Bhandhari.
Mr Venugopal also contended that the constitution provided that the state shall not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, religion or gender and the caste based reservation being provided by the government is confined only to Hindus where casteism is prevalent while other communities mainly minorities are being deprived of this benefit. He also argued that Article 15 (4) of the Constitution of India provides for reservation on the basis of social, educational and economical backwardness and nowhere mentions the word caste.
Earlier, senior counsel P P Rao had gone to the extent of saying that casteism has destroyed the Hindu society as loyalties of the Hindus are restricted to their respective castes.
The arguments remained inconclusive and shall continue tomorrow.
The Centre is however defending its quota policy on the grounds that people have been oppressed for centuries in the name of caste and have become backward.