SC upholds quota policy for OBCs

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New Delhi, Apr 10 (UNI) The Supreme Court today upheld the constitutional validity of the government notification providing 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in admission to centrally run educational institutions of higher learning like IITs, IIMs, and AIIMS.

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, cleared the decks for implementation of the reservation policy from the coming academic session that is 2008-2009.

The five-judge bench, however, ruled that the creamy layer among the OBCs as per the office memorandom issued by Central government dated September 8, 1993, must be excluded from the benefits of the reservation policy.

The court also made it clear that the principle of exclusion of creamy layer is not applicable in case of SCs/STs.

The apex court also upheld the constitutional validity of 93rd Constitutional Amendment enabling the Central government to provide reservation to socially and educationally backward sections of society to uplift them and bring them at par with general category.

The apex court also recommended the periodical review of the reservation policy as the same cannot be continued indefinitely.

Justice Arijit Pasayat writing separate judgements for himself and Justice C K Thakker directed the government to obtain more authentic data regarding the percentage of OBCs in the total population of the country.

The two judges also recommended review of the reservation policy after every five years for proper implementation of the principle of exclusion of creamy layer from the benefits of reservation.

Chief Justice of India, however, recommended review after every ten years.

Justice R V Raveendran in his separate judgement noted that the 93rd amendment is valid and if the reservation policy is fully based on caste consideration than it shall be unconstitutional, meaning thereby that other social sectors should also be made the basis of the reservation policy.

Justice Dalveer Bhandari in his separate judgement ruled that reservation on the basis of caste is an unreasonable restriction and casteless society cannot be established till the policy of caste based reservation continues.

Justice Bhandari also ruled that children of MPs and MLAs, both present and former, should be excluded from the purview of the quota policy.


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