NEW PIL IN APEX COURT CHALLENGES QUOTA FOR OBCS

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A fresh PIL has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the controversial law which provides 27% reservation to OBCs in the premier educational institutions, including IIMs and IITs.

A Bench headed by Justice B N Agrawal tagged it with the bunch of petitions listed for hearing on May 8 before a bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice LS Panta. The bench on March 29, in its interim order, had stayed the implementation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006.

The PIL filed by Citizens for Equality, a charitable trust having eminent professors from Jawaharlal Nehru University as its trustees, has questioned the basis for providing such reservation.

“The 1931 Census gave an incomplete picture of the social conditions of the citizens of this country. It is hopelessly out of date and irrelevant today,” said the petition.

It goes on to say that there has been no effort since 1931 for collecting and compiling the data on castes and the extent of backwardness of each caste.
“The vested interest of politicians in perpetuating the caste system needs to be curbed. The only institution that can check this constitutional perversion is the judiciary,” said the petition.

The petition said that the health secretary sent letters to various institutions across the country to find out if they were in a position to increase their seats for the implementation of the new reservation policy which shows that the government did not have any information about the feasibility of increasing seats before announcing its decision to implement the act with effect from the current academic year.

It also said that the present reservation policy allows only the more advanced and educated sections of the beneficiaries to avail the benefit of reservations leaving the really backward uncared for. The present quota policy destroys the sense of belonging to one nation and results in brain drain and emigration on one hand and creation of a vested interest in remaining perpetually backward on the other hand, the petition stated.

“It is submitted that the act is arbitrary and violative of the Fundamental Rights of the citizen under Articles 14, 15(1), 19 and 21 of the constitution,” said the petition.

The petition has sought quashing of the 93rd amendment Act by which Article 15(5) was inserted in the Constitution for enabling the states to make special provisions for providing reservations to educationally and socially-backward classes. It violates the law laid down in the PA Inamdar case.

The petitioner trust has alleged the policy of reservation suffers from serious Constitutional and legal infirmities and needs to be replaced by a rational policy of affirmative action for uplifting the weaker sections, particularly the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBC.

The trust said the decision in the Indra Sawhney (Mandal case) needs a second look in the light of the experience gained over the past 15 years and the law declared in the S R Bommai case, in which it was observed that caste and community cannot be the relevant criteria for conferring benefit under the secular Constitution.

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