In what could put many of the Central educational institutions in a difficult position pertaining to the admission to the OBC students in their various courses, the Supreme Court has said that they must adhere to its five-judge constitution bench judgement that the maximum cut-off marks for the backward classes should be 10% less than the general categories.
The apex court deferred its decision till Monday on the issue. A vacation bench comprising Justice P Sathasivam and Justice AK Patnaik on Friday passed such remarks while hearing an application filed by the former IIT professor, PV Indiresan. The applicant through his counsel told the court that the Jawaharlal Nehru University is not adhering to its constitution bench ruling while admitting the students belonging to the OBC categories to its courses.
Senior counsel Indu Malhotra on behalf of the applicant said, the Central universities are admitting the OBC students without taking the last cut-off marks for general categories as the reference point.
“They are admitting OBC students on the basis of 10% less than the general category eligibility criteria, which is way below the cut-off percentage,” said Malhotra.
She further pointed out that the problem cropped up in the admission criteria for the OBCs because the Central educational institutions are not following the five-judge constitution bench judgement of the apex court delivered two years ago.
This was however, contested by the counsels representing the Centre and the OBC students. They told the bench that if the cut-off marks of the general categories students will be taken as the reference point for the admitting OBC students, then it will be detrimental to their interests.
Government’s counsel A Subba Rao and OBC students advocate and senior counsel A Mariaputhan said if the high cut-off percentage witnessed for general category is taken as the reference point, then no OBC student could aspire to get admitted to any of the universities or colleges even if they were given 10% relaxation.
If the last cut-off for general category is 80%, then the OBC candidates must get 70% to be eligible for admission to the reserved seats under the Central Educational Institutes (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006. In most of the Central institutes, the eligibility criteria for general category is 50% marks, they said. Under the 2006 Act, the Central educational institutes were asked to increase their seats to accommodate the OBC candidates so as not to reduce the number of seats available for general category prior to implementation of quota.
By applying the 10% less than cut-off criteria, rather than 10% less than the eligibility, none of the 27% OBC quota seats would be filled and the unfilled seats would lapse to the general category, said Rao and Mariaputhan. They requested the bench to refer the matter to the concerned bench for hearing of the matter. The bench then adjourned the matter.
On July 4, it will be taken by a bench headed by Justice RV Raveendran which is hearing the appeal challenging the order of the Delhi High Court on the same issue.
The high court had said that the cut-off marks for the OBCs should be 10% less than the minimum eligibility marks for the general categories. It is 50% marks in most of the Central educational institutes. Economic Times