The institutions issued a notice to Delhi University seeking exemption for the OBC students arguing that they are minority institutions.

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response from Delhi University on separate petitions filed by four colleges. The petitions seek exemption from reserving seats for students belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) arguing that they are minority institutions.

Issuing a notice to the University, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Veena Birbal and Justice Manmohan Singh asked it to respond by June 25, the next date of hearing.

The four colleges, run by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and constituted under the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act, in their petitions challenged an earlier order of a Single Judge Bench directing them to continue with the admission process in accordance with the University guidelines which mandate reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBC students.

The colleges -- Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Guru Gobind Singh College, Mata Sundri College and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College -- through their counsel argued that these institutions were declared minority institutions last year and therefore the reservation policy was not applicable to them in view of the Supreme Court verdict on the OBC reservation.

The Supreme Court had held that minority educational institutions whether aided or unaided were exempt from reserving seats for OBC students, the petitions said, urging the Court to let them continue with the process on the lines of the past years, without giving reservation to the OBC students in admissions to obviate any ambiguity with respect to the admission in the current academic session.

Appearing for the colleges, senior advocate K.T.S Tulsi submitted that the direction to these institutions to give reservation to OBC students was not only contrary to the Constitution but also went against the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act of 2006.

“All along for the past 20-30 years, Delhi University has permitted the Gurdwara Management Committee to give preferential treatment to religious and linguistic minorities in these colleges. There is no reason why Delhi University all of a sudden now wishes to treat these college as non-minority institutions,” the petition stated.