Today's Paper

All-party meet on Tuesday

Court ruling on reservation

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: An all-party meeting here on August 23 will discuss the fallout of the Supreme Court judgment abolishing quotas and reservation in private, unaided professional educational institutions, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh told mediapersons here on Friday.

The announcement came two days after Mr. Singh accepted an Opposition suggestion in the Lok Sabha that an all-party meeting be convened before the close of the Parliament session.

Mr. Singh said the Government would not come out with any proposals for discussion at the meeting. The draft Central legislation prepared by his Ministry following a demand from various States would be a reference point.

"No confrontation"

Indicating that the deliberations would not necessarily be judgment-centric, he said, "Our aim is not to enter into a confrontation with the Supreme Court."

The Minister referred to the rare unanimity among the political parties on the issue and reiterated that the Government was committed to the social and political structure provided by the Constitution.

However, he was non-committal to a question whether the Government would address the situation through legislation or a constitution amendment.

Manmohan's assurance

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday informed members of the Parliamentary Forum of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes that the Government would engage the services of senior counsel K. Parasaran to further address the issue in court.

The Government, he said, would protect effective equality of opportunity.

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