New Delhi, Apr 10: The Supreme Court today cleared the decks for implementation of 27 per cent quota for OBCs in Centrally run educational institutions of higher education and upheld the constitutional validity of the act providing 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in educational institutions.
A five judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan upheld the validity of the act by a majority of 4:1 with Justice Dalveer Bhandari dissenting. The apex court also ruled that if the basis of reservation is caste, the creamy layer among these castes must be excluded from the benefits of reservation policy. Other judges on the bench are Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakkar and R V Raveendran.
The apex court also upheld the validity of 93rd Constitutional Amendment enabling the Centre to provide reservation to the socially and educationally backward sections of society.
The apex court however, held that this act will not apply to minority educational institutions and also left open the issue of applying provisions of the act to private unaided educational institutions, as no such educational institutions had challenged the validity of the act.
Dissenting Judge Dalveer Bhandari laid emphasis on providing primary education as it is a part of article 21 A (education is fundamental right) of the Constitution of India.
The apex court made it clear that there will be no exclusion of creamy layer for now as the reservation for SC and STs are concerned.
The majority while upholding the validity of articles 15 (4) and 15 (5) of the Constitution also ruled that there will be periodical review of the reservation policy as the same cannot be continued indefinitely.