In a landmark interim order, the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court stayed the operation of admission to medical and professional institutions for OBC's under the 27 per cent quota category for the year 2007-2008 and directed that all the cases should be listed for the third week of August for final hearing and disposal on the issue.
Last year, Delhi and other leading states of the Indian Union witnessed widescale protests against the government of India's decision to reserve 27 per cent seats for OBC's in the medical and professional institutions.
The agitation was led by Youth for Equality and Resident Doctors Association of leading medical colleges of the country, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Noted advocate Ashok Thakur and management guru Shiv Khera moved the apex court against the government's decision.
"The court has stayed the operation of Section 6 of the law dealing with admission of OBC's only. Reservation for SC's and ST's would continue. It is a brilliant judgment," Vivek K Thankha, advocate for Shiv Khera, told rediff.com at his chamber on Feroz Shah Road.
"We are happy with the judgment. The court is prima facie convinced that you did not possess basis for determination of OBC's. The court asked where is the determination of OBC's. The only census that we have is the 1931 census and since then we have been adding to our list according to our necessity," he said.
Dr Kumar Harsh, resident doctor of All India Institute of Medical Science, welcomed the judgment on behalf of the medical community.
"It is the victory of the common people and those who believe that merit and not caste should be the basis for admission in professional colleges. We welcome the judgment," he said.
Aditya Kaul, who was among five students who submitted petition to President of India A P J Abdul Kalam against the reservation ordinance, said that the interim judgment is a victory of those who believe in equal opportunities to everyone which is enshrined in the Constitution of India.