Three years after a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court upheld the validity of a law providing for 27% reservation to other backward classes (OBCs) in central educational institutions, confusion still persists over how to implement the order.
Two premier central universities of the country — Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University (DU) — are following different norms with regard to the quota for the OBC students.
While JNU is admitting OBC candidates who have secured 10% less marks than the eligibility marks fixed for
general category candidates, DU goes by the cut-off criterion i.e. the difference in cut-off marks for an OBC candidate and a general candidate should not be more than 10% for quota consideration.
As a result, many OBC seats remain vacant and ultimately go to the general category candidates. The matter has now reached the Supreme Court, which has fixed Friday to hear the matter.
Acting on a petition filed by some JNU students, a single judge of the Delhi high court had on September 7, 2010, declared “bad” the stand of the Centre and JNU. The HC said OBC candidates were not required to secure marks within the bandwidth of 10% below the cut-off marks of the last candidate admitted in the general category. But the order was challenged before the SC which had issued notice to the OBC candidates.
Now, another group of students belonging to Youth for Equality (YFE) have moved an application seeking to become a party to the case to assist the court reach a proper solution to the dispute.
On behalf of YFE, senior counsel Indu Malhotra argued before a vacation bench headed by justice P Sathasivam that the Delhi high court’s single judge’s order ran contrary to the constitution bench’s ruling, according to which the difference in cut-off marks for an OBC candidate and a general candidate should not be more than 10% for quota consideration.
On behalf of pro-reservation students, senior counsel Mariarputtam defended the single judge’s order.