Supreme Court admits Gujarat’s plea against quota verdict

In a relief for numerous students who were admitted under the Gujarat government's 10 percent reservation policy for underprivileged upper castes, the Supreme Court on Friday assured that admissions made to educational institutions under the quota before the State High Court quashed the controversial reservation law will remain undisturbed.

“Until further orders of the court, we direct that admissions made to any educational institutions prior to the pronouncement of the High Court order shall not be disturbed,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur ordered.

However, the Bench clarified that the State shall not make any attempts to revive the quota law by implementing it in the future.

“Since the High Court has set aside the notification no further action towards implementation of the said notification is possible qua education/services,” the Bench observed in the order.

>The Gujarat High Court had on August 4 quashed the Gujarat Unreserved Economically Weaker Sections (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Ordinance, 2016, meant to quell the powerful Patidar community agitations for quota in the State, after declaring it as “unconstitutional”.

Issuing notice on the appeal filed by the Gujarat government against the HC judgment, the Bench agreed to list the case before a three-judge Bench, which would eventually take a decision on further referring it to a five-judge Constitution Bench.

The Gujarat government has contended that the High Court did not consider that the 10 percent quota was based on “reasonable classification” and not reservation per se. The State argued that though the term “reservation” was used in the ordinance, the leeway allowed to the poor among the upper castes should be included as a classification within the 50 percent ceiling on quotas.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Gujarat government, submitted that the real objective of the law had been to provide opportunities to poor students from the general category. Mr. Rohatgi submitted that the quota policy would have been benefitted engineering colleges as 5,000 seats continue to be vacant.

The Bench refused to budge, warning the government against implementing an ordinance quashed by the HC.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 11:34:45 PM |

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