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Fill vacant OBC seats by general category: SC
R. Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 14
The Supreme Court today directed the government to fill by October 31 vacant OBC seats in IITs, IIMs and other centrally-run higher educational institutions with eligible students from the general category. The five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, also observed that the government was trying to benefit the “cream out of the creamy layer” by raising the income ceiling to Rs 4.5 lakh a year for OBC families for availing of the 27 per cent quota for OBC students. The court clarified that the maximum relaxation in the marks for the OBC quota students would be 10 per cent.

The Bench, which includes Justices A. Pasayat, C. K. Thakker, Dalveer Bhandari and R. V. Raveendran, posted the next hearing for the third week of November for deciding issues raised by the petitioner, Prof P.V. Indiresan, including the question of raising the total number of seats by 54 per cent to provide for the 27 per cent OBC quota. The court asked the petitioner to move a separate petition on the income ceiling issue. The petitioner contended that the government was trying to pass on the vacant OBC seats to the creamy layer of OBC, which did not deserve the 10 per cent relaxation in marks.

The government had submitted an affidavit in the court that 97.7 per cent of OBC population earned less than Rs 80 a day. This meant raised ceiling would only benefit the remaining 2.3 per cent of the affluent OBCs, the petitioner argued.



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