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Quota: Moily kicks off fresh row
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 5
Veerappa Moily, chairman of the Oversight Committee which laid out the roadmap for the introduction of OBC quotas in central educational institutions, has kicked off a fresh row over the Supreme Court’s stay on the implementation of the Central law.

According to Moily, the apex court has not specifically stayed the implementation of the Bill as references to the law were merely advisory in nature. The UPA Government can go ahead with the introduction of OBC quotas in premier educational institutions like IITs and IIMs from the upcoming academic session, Moily has stated in a 10-page note to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the law and HRD ministers.

Quoting from the apex court’s order, Moily pointed out that it had said,“In the background of what has been explained above, it would be desirable to keep in hold the operation of the Act.”

Moily said the use of the term “desirable” means “worth having or doing” but is not mandatory for the Centre to stay the implementation of OBC quotas from the next academic session. “The word desirable connotes advisory in character” but is not binding.

Similarly, the former Karnataka Chief Minister said the apex court had said, “it would be permissible for the respondent-Union of India, to initiate or continue process, if any, for determining on a broadbased foundation Other Backward Classes.” Here again, Moily picked on the use of the word “permissible” to state that it wAs not mandatory for the Centre to initiate the process of getting fresh data on OBCs.

In both instances, he said, the options rest with the Centre on how it should proceed.

Moily said the National Sample Survey, the OBC Commission’s report and the National Family Health Survey have provided sufficient data to determine the percentage of the OBC population.

Reiterating that there are no roadblocks in the implementation of the OBC law, Moily said the Centre should proceed with its implementation. At the same time the UPA Government can clarify matters by filing a civil revision petition in the apex court for the advance hearing of the case or seek its reference to a Constitutional Bench.

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