Court also upholds 7.5 % reservation to community’s poor students in varsities

Seats allotted to them will be comparatively less

‘A few seats wont eat into benefits enjoyed by BCs’

Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday upheld a government order reserving 10 per cent of the total seats in government colleges and 7.5 per cent of the seats in universities for students belonging to the forward communities under the below poverty line category.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice S.R. Bannurmath and Justice A.K. Basheer upheld the order while dismissing a writ petition filed by the Kerala Muslim Jamaath Council against the order. The court observed that the order was issued to address the problems being faced by the below poverty line students belonging to the forward community. The court said that the number of seats allotted to them would be comparatively less.

Gloomy prospects

Many of these students, who were not economically affluent, were faced with gloomy prospects of discontinuing their studies as they could not afford to go to private institutions which demanded heavy fees.

Therefore, the attempt of the State government appeared to be to ameliorate the grievances of this class of students. In view of this, the order could not be faulted or declared as illegal.

More seats in colleges?

The court pointed out that the government, in fact, intended to increase the number of seats in the government colleges and in university departments proportionately so that the seats in the reservation quota would not have to be reduced.

The contention of the petitioner that the reservation of a few seats for students belonging to the forward communities would eat away the benefits being enjoyed by the socially and other backward classes was wholly misconceived and unfounded.

The court pointed out that the social and economic conditions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities and the Other Backward Class communities had undergone a revolutionary change. The Bench said that time had come to awaken these communities from “the slumber of satiated insouciance.” These communities must “realise that overindulgence of the government in extending benefits will only stunt their growth.”

The Bench observed that in the matter of employment, it was high time the reservation quota was “gradually brought down so that there is an element of competition in gaining employment. Higher the competition level, be it in educational institutions or in employment, the greater will be the advantages to the people belonging to the backward communities.”

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