Centre opposes denigration of Parliament on OBC quota in SC

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) The Centre today took exception to the denigration of Parliament by the petitioners opposing the government policy of providing 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in admission to centrally run educational institutions of higer learning, during the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court.

Solicitor General GE Vahanvati contended before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan that the allegations of senior counsel Rajiv Dhawan who had contended, while arguing for petitioners, that the issue of providing reservation was never properly debated in Parliament and was passed without any discussion was an attempt to denigrate Parliament. Other judges on the bench were Justices Arijit Pasayat, CK Thakker, RV Ravindran and Dalveer Bhandari.

Mr Vahanvati contended before the Supreme Court ''attempt to denigrate an institution like Parliament must not be tolerated at all.'' The Centre also contended before the Supreme Court that the government had conducted a detailed study before introducing the bill in Parliament for providing reservation covering 84 central government run institutions like IITs, IIMs and Post Graduate Medical Science courses.

According to the Solicitor General, the oversight committee was appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and every care was taken to see that the interests of general category candidates were not adversely affected as a result of the new quota policy of the government and adequate provision was made for increasing the seats in institutions of advanced studies to accomodate OBCs.

He also contended that the issue of exclusion of creamy layer from the benefits of reservation policy was not considered by the oversight committee. According to the government, income was the main criterion for determining of creamy layer and the government was also making an all out effort to see that the high school enrolment of OBCs also increased significantly so that they too became eligible for admission to institutions of higher learning. He also argued that India had the potential of becoming a learned society in future and the reservations were imperative for uplift of OBCs who have been subjected to oppression for centuries together in the name of caste and unequals have to be treated unequally to make them equal and for that protective discrimination was necessary.

The Solicitor General concluded his arguments justifying the provision for 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in educational institutions so that country's youth did not become a social liability for the nation. He also strongly condemned the attempts to denigrate Parliament in the garb of lifting of legislative veil. The petitioners have been opposing the government notification issued in January this year on the ground that caste based quota policy would divide the Indian society along caste lines and it would also affect the administrative efficiency. They have been pleading that the government had not done any home work to identify the beneficiaries of reservation policy and economic backwardness should be the sole criterion for providing reservation.

The government had, however, been justifying and defending its policy on the ground that the caste based quota policy was in conformity with the concept of social justice and was in the interest of the principle of equity to all segments of society.

The government concluded its arguments today. Senior counsel K Parasan will begin his arguments on behalf of state of Tamil Nadu which is also supporting the reservation policy of the Central government on October 3.

UNI

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