The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it has identified and determined the list of socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs) for extending the benefit of OBC quota in the central education institutions.
“We have identified and we have determined the list of SEBCs,” Solicitor General G E Vahanvati said before a five-judge Constitution Bench examining the validity of the law providing 27 per cent quota to OBCs in educational institutions.
Vahanvati said technically the court was right in saying that without issuing the notification on the SEBC list, how did the Centre want to implement the quota law.
However, he said the notification in this regard could not be issued and was held back as the arguments in the matter had started.
The Solicitor General was responding to a volley of questions put forward by the Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan as to how the Centre had endeavoured to implement the Act without identifying and determining its real beneficiaries.
The Court came out with its queries after senior advocate KK Venugopal, appearing for the anti-quota petitioners, argued that the Act could not be implemented on the identification done on the basis of 1931 census and with Centre not excluding the "creamy layer" from the benefit of reservation. He contended till today there was no identification of SEBCs. However, when Vahanvati said that the Centre has a list of SEBCs, the Bench wanted to know what formed the basis of the list.