Raising several questions on the validity of the government's caste-based reservation policy, the Supreme Court on Thursday referred to a larger bench the controversial issue of 27 per cent quota for OBCs in elite central educational institutions.
The court felt the government cannot adopt any bullying attitude which could impinge on the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Holding that the issue involved considerable importance of constitutional law having an impact on the entire nation, a Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice PK Jain said the larger Bench would have to examine whether the government has got unbridled powers to evolve reservation policies without any restrictions.
The court said that it would be the larger bench which would have to review the 93rd constitutional amendment by which Article 15 (5) was inserted to provide reservation to the socially backward sections.
The bench had earlier this year stayed the implementation of the provision relating to OBC reservation in elite institutions like IITs and IIMs in the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation by Admission) Act, 2006.
The Centre approached the court for an urgent hearing on the issue by a larger bench so that a decision could be given at the earliest to enable implementation of the reservation for the current academic year.