A few religious and linguistic minority professional colleges on Wednesday moved the Karnataka High Court questioning the Government Order on reserving seats for students from Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal, Yadgir and Bellary districts in view of the special status given to the Hyderabad Karnataka region under Article 371 (J).

The petitioners — Al-Ameen Medical and Dental Colleges, MVJ Medical College, and others — questioned the Karnataka Private Unaided Educational Institutions (Regulations of Admission in the Hyderabad Karnataka Region) Order, 2013, issued in November 2013 and the February 1, 2014, notification earmarking certain percentage of seats in these institutions for persons hailing from the six districts.

The notification says that regional institutes, including government, private, private unaided and deemed universities, shall reserve 70 per cent of the available seats for local persons every year after deducting the seats allocated to all-India quota/NRI quota in every course of study, and State-wide institutions shall reserve 8 per cent of available seats for local persons every year after deducting the seats allocated to all-India quota/NRI quota.

The petitioners claimed that when the reservation provided under the Constitution for socially and economically backward classes such as Scheduled Class and Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes were not made applicable for minority institutions, reservation for the HK region too could not be applied to them. They claimed that the notifications were contrary to the law declared by the Supreme Court on minority professional colleges.

Pointing out that the order on the reservation for the HK region could not be enforced on minority institutions in view of Article 30(1) of the Constitution, the petitioners contended that the notification ought to have restricted the reservation only to non-minority educational institutions.

Justice B.S. Patil, before whom the petition came up for hearing, referred the case to a Division Bench as it required greater consideration on constitutional issues while refusing to stay the operation of the notification.

Case referred to Division Bench as

it requires greater consideration on constitutional issues

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