January 15, 2007 17:05 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday granted three weeks time to the Union government to respond to the petition challenging the government order providing 27.5 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in the educational institutions of the country.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S H Kapadia that though the bill has been passed by both houses of Parliament, the official notification was awaited and whenever the notification providing for reservation is issued, it would be challenged.
The government has already announced that it is going to implement the policy of reservation providing for 27.5 per cent reservation to the OBCs regarding their admission in the educational institutions from the academic year 2007-2008.
The apex court has already issued notices on the petition challenging the order issued by Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh and the government in its counter has justified caste-based reservation.
The government is yet to place the Moily committee report, which was placed in Parliament, before this court as directed earlier. After the Supreme Court judgment on the Ninth Schedule, the government is not in a position to avoid judicial scrutiny of this order, which is being converted into the law of the land.
The nine-judge bench has already made it clear that even if the law is placed in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, it can still be examined by the court if it violates the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.
It may be recalled that health services throughout the country were totally paralysed following the nation-wide agitation launched by the medicos against the reservation policy describing it nothing but vote bank policy being indulged in by the politicians cutting across party lines.