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No OBC quota in IIMs, AIIMS: Top lawyer

By Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
April 10, 2008 19:46 IST
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K Venugopal, one of India's highly respected lawyers told on Thursday, "According to today's judgment, the Indian Institute of Management and All India Institute of Medical Sciences will not have any reservation for Other Backward Classes."

Venugopal appeared in this landmark hearing in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Junior Doctors Association of AIIMS, New Delhi.

Explaining the reason behind it, he said, "Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker and Dalveer Bhandari has clearly said in their judgment that you ceased to be OBC when you are educated and attain graduation. Test of the OBC is social and educational backwardness. It says "and", that means if you are not educationally backward you are not OBC. The court has accepted the argument that if you are able to graduate you are not entitled to reservation."

"Not only IIMs, but even AIIMS and such other centres of higher learning will not have any OBC reservation," Venugopal added.

While putting the entire judgment in perspective Venugopal said, "This balanced judgment has scaled down the huge volume of OBC to the core level of OBC. This judgment has upheld the economic criteria of 1993 depriving large number of members of OBC from benefiting from reservation. It is a serious setback to the government who wanted to fill up prestigious institutes with OBC quotas. Today's judgment has kept graduation as the 'cut-off' point that will reduce the numbers of beneficiaries of OBC reservation."

"The 1993 criteria to decide 'creamy layer' amongst OBC section says that people with landed property, all government employees above Class II, all OBC families with monthly income of Rs 20,000 (gross annual income of Rs.2.5 lakh and above ) etc. are barred from availing any reservation from now onwards," Venugopal said.

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi