Debating India


Plea against quota amendment withdrawn

Tuesday 2 May 2006, by VENKATESAN*J.

Liberty to petitioner to move court as and when occasion arises.

THE SUPREME Court on Monday dismissed as withdrawn a public interest petition challenging the validity of the Constitution 93rd Amendment Act 2005, by which a provision has been made to enable the Centre and the States to enact laws for reservation in private educational institutions.

A Bench, comprising Justices Ruma Pal and A.K. Mathur, told senior counsel K.M. Vijayan appearing for the petitioner, Voice (Consumer Care) Council, that it was only an enabling provision.

(The Centre is planning to introduce a Bill to provide for 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in educational institutions including the IITs and IIMs and this has generated opposition from students, particularly in the capital.)

Mr. Vijayan said that by this amendment Article 15 (5) was introduced in the Constitution and it provided for "enabling the state to make special provisions for reservation in state-owned and funded educational institutions including private institutions."

This amendment was in violation of the apex court judgment in the Inamdar case. The petition was filed on behalf of the general public, whose fundamental right to admissions without discrimination in educational institutions would be jeopardised if the state interfered in higher education.

The Bench told counsel that nothing was done by the States subsequent to the amendment.

After counsel agreed to withdraw the petition, the Bench gave the petitioner the liberty to move the court as and when occasion arose.

See online : The Hindu

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