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Quotas not to be implemented until court orders: SC

Last updated on: October 16, 2006 14:34 IST
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The Supreme Court said the policy of reservation, sought to be implemented by the government providing 27 per cent reservation to the Other Backward Classes in admission to educational institutions, should not be enforced until a final decision on the petition challenging the policy was taken by it.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, earlier, told the court that the Bill on the policy was introduced in Parliament on August 24, and has been referred to the Standing Committee as per the procedure and its report was awaited.

Responding to a question on why the implementation of the government's order be stayed until the final decision of the court, the ASG said, "The matter, at present, is in the domain of Parliament and is likely to be debated in both the Houses during the forthcoming winter session."

A Divison Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta asked the government, "You announce the policy without having the complete data. Your counter-affidavit is also silent on the issue of exclusion of the creamy layer from the policy of reservation. You played a game first and frame rules thereafter."

They also directed the government to place in a 'sealed cover' a copy of the report of the Standing Committee before the court.

The apex court also refused to pass any order on an application filed by SC/ST Students Forum, seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against them opposing the reservation policy.

They had gone on strike on several occasions even after the directions of the court on May 31, opposing any form of protest.

The court directed that the application will be considered only with the main matter coming up for hearing on December 4.

It also posted another application filed by Dr M M Mittal, pleading that none of the political party was genuinely interested in the welfare of the downtrodden in the country, for hearing along with the main matter.

The court granted more time to the government to file a counter-petition, challenging the Constitutional validity of Article 93 (5), which enables the government to provide reservation to socially, economically and educationally backward sections in the educational institutions and employment.

Petitioner Shiv Khera would file his rejoinder thereafter.

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