The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed until August the 27 per cent reservation of seats in elite central educational institutions for backward class students.
In an interim order on a bunch of petitions by Youth for Equality and other student bodies, Justices Arijit Pasayat and LS Panta stayed the quota meant for socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) students for the coming academic session of institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
Rejecting the central government's move to reserve the seats on an archaic 1931 caste-based census data, the bench said: "What may be valid data in 1931 cannot be a determinative factor now to accord reservation on its basis."
While directing for listing of the petition for final hearing in August, the bench said the government in the meantime could gather authentic data on India's caste population.
The bench virtually agreed with the petitioners' contention that "vote bank politics should be replaced by talent bank politics and not cast-based politics".