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SC questions potency of reservation policy

Even though the apex court has allowed 27 % reservation for OBCs, it is skeptical about its effectiveness for bringing equality in the society.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 11, 2008 04:27 PM IST

Even though the Supreme Court allowed 27 per cent reservation for the OBCs in Central educational institutions, it has raised questions on the effectiveness of such a policy for bringing equality in the society.

"There is no deletion from the list of other backward classes. It goes on increasing... is it that backwardness has increased instead of decreasing?"

"If the answer is yes, as contended by the respondents (Centre and other pro-quota parties), then one is bound to raise eyebrows as to the effectiveness of providing reservations or quotas," Justices Arijit Pasayat and CK Thakker said.

"The inequalities are to be removed. Yet the fact that there has been no exclusion raises a doubt about the real concern to remove inequality," he said while pointing out that since the concept of OBC came into picture there has been no deletion of any caste from the category.

The apex court asked the Centre to deliberate whether the reservation policy followed since Independence had been effective in achieving the desired result.

"If after nearly six decades the objectives have not been achieved, necessarily the need for its continuance warrants deliberations," the court said.

"It is to be noted that some of the provisions were intended to be replaced after a decade but have continued. It directly shows that backwardness appears to have purportedly increased and not diminished," the judges said adding that the affirmative action had got somewhat complicated in India on account of caste politics.

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