Constitution bench has clarified on 27pc quota for OBC: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday did not go into the issue of sorting out discrepancies arising out of implementation of 27 per cent quota for admission of OBC candidates in central universities and institutions and said the clarfication has already been given by the Constitution Bench which had upheld its validity in 2008.

"The same (cut-off marks for OBC candidates) has been clarified by the constitution bench. Why do we not make it clear that nobody would go beyond that clarification," a vacation bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik said.

However, it preferred to leave the matter to be heard on July 4 on the day of reopening of the court after summer vacation by another bench headed by Justice R V Raveendran which has been seized with a petition against the Delhi High Court judgement which said the cut-off marks for OBC should be 10 per cent less than the minimum eligible marks for general category candidates.

A five-judge Constitution Bench had on April 10, 2008, upheld the validity of the law providing 27 per cent quota for OBC`s in central universities and institutions.

However, every year on one or the other issues, applications are filed seeking clarification on implementation of the legislation.

During the brief hearing, it was pointed out and even the bench said that the clarification in this regard has already been made by the constitution bench which had on October 14, 2008, had said cut-off marks for OBC should be 10 per cent less than the marks fixed for general category candidates.

After making the remarks, the bench put up the matter for hearing before the bench headed by Justice Raveendran.

"Let the bench which has issued the notice (in another matter) decide on the issue. But I do not think that any bench can deviate from what the consitution bench had said (in its clarification)," one of the judges said.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by P V Indersan, a former professor of IIT Madras, seeking implementation of the apex court verdict by which the constitutional validity of 27 per cent quota for OBCs in central universities was upheld on April 10, 2008.

The apex court further said that in the application, Indersan has raised a very limited issue and that is to stay the operations of the order of the Delhi High Court which is being followed in JNU.

"The present SLP is already admitted and a notice has been issued. We have to consider whether any stay is required or not at this stage. We need not to go into the entire thing," the bench said.

Senior advocate Indu Malhotra, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that despite the clairfications of the constitution bench, the Delhi High Court passed an order on September 7, 2010, saying the minimum eligibility criteria for admission under OBC category would be at a maximum 10 per cent below the minimum eligibility criteria fixed for general category.

However, it was opposed by senior advocate A Mariarputham, appearing for the group of students from JNU, who said the whole intitiative of the order was to give benefit of the quota and not based on the last candidate of the general category.

The vacation bench was told that the three judges in a majority verdict had held that the cut-off marks for OBCs should not be less than five per cent or 10 per cent as against the general category candidates.

"Admissions in Delhi University are being conducted on the basis of reservations to OBC candidates with 10 per cent marks below the cut-off marks for general category students.

However in JNU, the procedure laid down by the impugned judgement and order is being followed. Thus, there is a great variance in admission procedures in central educational institutions," the petitioner had said.

Requesting the apex court for an urgent hearing, the petitioner said results of the entrance examination of JNU for the current session have already been declared and interviews are scheduled from July 4 onwards.

The court, however, decided not to give an urgent hearing to the matter and posted it for Monday.