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THE Supreme Court has restrained the Delhi University and the Pune-based Symbiosis International University from providing 27% seat reservation for OBCs, even as the Centre sought vacation of an earlier stay on the issue.

A bench of Justices B N Aggrawal and P P Naolekar also issued notices to the universities to file their replies following two separate petitions challenging their decision to implement the Central Education Institutions (Reservations in Admissions) Act, 2006, which provided for 27% seat reservation in elite Central Educational Institutions.

The petitions filed by the NGO Youth for Equality and two students — Ankit Kumar, Shashank Shekhar complained that the two universities were going ahead with the process of providing the 27% reservations despite the apex court staying the controversial Act on March 29, this year.

Earlier in the day, the Centre moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking vacation of its order staying the implementation of 27% quota for OBCs in government-controlled educational institutions. The application was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan which decided to hear it.
The Centre said it was approaching with the application for vacation of interim order of March 29 as “certain facts and circumstances were discovered subsequently.” Rejecting the anti-quota section’s views, the government maintained that the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2006 protected the number of seats available to the general category in the previous academic year while increasing seats for socially and educationally backward classes and proportionately for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Given this backdrop, the Centre held that the legislation was not detrimental to the interest of any section of the population.

The Centre said that consequent to the enactment of the Act, many of the Central Institutions initiated the process of increasing the number of seats and admission to the seats reserved for OBCs. However, the process was held back due to the stay granted by the Court, the application said, adding that many institutions were also making selections against reserved seats but had to stop in view of the Court order.

The Centre said that in case the stay continues to be operative, a large number of candidates selected against the seats reserved for the OBCs would not be able to get admission and would lose a year.

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