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Quota stay to continue
IIM, Ahmedabad, to go ahead with admissions
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, April 23
In a rebuke to the UPA government the Supreme Court today rejected its application for vacating the stay on the implementation of the OBC reservation in Central education institutions (CEIs), holding that the Centre had not come up with any new facts warranting modification of the March 29 interim order which was final for the current academic year.

While pointing out that no new legal ground has been made by the government for vacating the stay, a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Lokeshwar Singh Panta said in fact the implementation of the reservation in CEIs in the present form “is nothing but playing the game first and then framing the rules. But we want framing of the rules first and then playing of the game.”

The main objection of the court was to the proposal to increase the seats in CEIs by 27 per cent only to accommodate the OBC students and not excluding the “creamy layer” of the benefit, making it clear to solicitor-general G.E. Vahanvati that both these propositions violated the Constitution and in the interim order had dealt in details with all these aspects.

It told the government that unless it came out with substantial grounds to make a case for vacating the stay, its March 29 order against implementation of the quota in educational institutions be treated as final till its judgement on the validity of the new OBC Act, 2006. It further said that for the same reasons the stay was final for the academic year 2007-08.

Rejecting the stand of the solicitor-general that “Parliament has consciously not applied the creamy layer principle for admissions to OBCs”, it agreed with senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for anti-reservation students and medicos, that if the quota was allowed to be implemented in the present form, it will amount to dismantling of Article 29(2) of the Constitution, which deals with the admission in religious and other minority institutions getting financial aid from the government.

Apparently referring to Centre’s great hurry in implementing the quota, the court told the government “if you could wait for 56 years, six months would have not made any difference.”

Meanwhile, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, today indicated that it would go ahead with the admission process for the 2007 batch without providing for 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in the wake of the Supreme Court order.

“That question can be answered by the order of the Supreme Court,” IIM (A) director Bakul Dholakia told reporters when asked if it was safe to presume at this stage that the 27 per cent quota will not be there in the current academic session. He, however, said all six IIM directors would meet to discuss the issue and await a fresh directive from the HRD Ministry.

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