Fifteen days have passed since the Supreme Court stayed the law providing for 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes in centrally run educational institutions, but the Centre is yet to move the court to get the stay vacated for implementing the OBC quota from this academic year.
This is even more intriguing as Union Human Resources Minister Arjun Singh himself went on record on Wednesday that the UPA Government would approach the apex court within two days.
Singh on Friday met President APJ Abdul Kalam fuelling speculation about the Government’s next move.
On Friday, during mentioning of an impleadment application filed by the All Indian Yadav Mahasabha and Akhil Bhartiya Gurjar Parishad, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subhamaniam told a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan that the Centre’s application would be filed during the day but it did not happen.
The two organisations supporting the OBC quota law wanted an early hearing of their plea but the court said it would come up for hearing in due course.
In fact, the Government line of action was finalised in the UPA-Left Coordination Committee meeting held on April 6 itself but sources said the delay was mainly due to the differences between the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Human Resources Development.
While Law Ministry is said to be in favour of exclusion of creamy layer from the purview of quota under the new law, the HRD Ministry was not agreeable to it, mainly because the UPA partners like DMK and RJD wanted the law to be implemented in its present form.
This has resulted into an prolonged discussion of the draft of the application, they added.
In a blow to the UPA Government’s reservation policy, the Supreme Court had on March 29 stayed the controversial law providing for 27 per cent quota for OBCs in elite central institutions including Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institutes of Technology from the academic year 2007-08.
The court stayed the Central Education Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 notified in January 2007, saying the 1931 census figures (relating to undivided India) could not be relied upon to determine backwardness of the castes sought to be given the benefit of the law. “What may have been relevant in 1931 census may have some relevance but can not be the determinative factor,” it had held.