The government on Wednesday failed to get the Supreme Court's nod for its controversial 4.5% sub-quota for economically-backward minorities in central educational institutes.
The court refused to stay the Andhra Pradesh high court's quashing of a government memorandum that had carved out the sub-quota within the existing 27% reservation for other backward classes (OBCs).
The judgment would impact 325 students shortlisted under the sub-quota for IIT counselling. They would now have to compete with other students under the OBC quota.
Additional solicitor general Gourab Banerji pointed this out. But an unimpressed bench questioned the constitutional and statutory validity of the sub-quota.
Banerji said the sub-quota was meant for the lowest ranks of Muslims or converts to Christianity and those qualifying for it had to be socially and educationally backward as well as religious minorities.
To which, the bench said: "That's the difficulty and that's the point. We can understand if it was across the board. How did you make the calculation?"