Delhi High Court on Monday exempted four colleges from having to reserve 27% of their seats for students of other backward classes (OBC) on the ground that they were Sikh minority institutions.
However, Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College, SGTB Khalsa College, Mata Sundari College and Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce will have to admit students from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes according to mandatory quotas.
A bench of Justices VK Jain and Pratibha Rani accepted a plea that the four colleges had been recognised as minority educational institutions by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) and, therefore, were exempt from offering reservation benefits to OBC students.
The four colleges had moved a division bench of the high court against the May 29 order of a single judge bench that directed them to obey the directions of Delhi University. The single judge bench had also asked these colleges to implement 27% reservation for OBCs.
“We are of the view that the practice which these institutions (four colleges) have been following till 2011-12 in the matter of reservation shall not be changed particularly when these institutions have already been declared as minority education institutions by the NCMEI,” the division bench said.
It also modified the May 29 order directing these colleges to abide by varsity’s directions that had asked them to implement the government’s reservation policy regarding OBC, SC and ST students.
The division bench said the four colleges shall give reservation in admission for 2012-13 to SC and ST categories, as per DU norms, but they will not be obliged to give reservation to the OBC candidates.
“It would not be fair to require these institutions to give reservation to OBC particularly when the NCMEI has declared them as minority education institutions,” it said.
Earlier, senior counsel KTS Tulsi had told the court that the NCMEI had in July 2011 declared these colleges — established by the Sikh community and administered by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Managing Committee — minority institutions.
The DU counsel did not file a reply to the plea of the four colleges, citing paucity of time, but insisted that the four DU colleges should also give 27% reservation to OBC students.
Tulsi had said the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act came into force in January 2007 and it excludes minority education institutions from the purview of reservation in admissions.