India Business
Government to appeal to chief justice on quota stay
Apr 24, 2007 - 2:29:51 PM

New Delhi, April 24 - Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh Tuesday said the government would appeal to the chief justice of India to vacate the stay on 27 percent reservation for backward classes in higher educational institutions, a day after the Supreme Court rejected a similar petition.

'The same concerns and issues would be taken up near the chief justice at the earliest,' Singh said told reporters. 'I do hope that the just and compassionate face of justice will emerge from the chief justice's court.'

The new chief justice, K.G. Balakrishnan, is the first Dalit to hold the post in India.

The apex court Monday dismissed the government's petition seeking vacation of the stay on a law providing for 27 percent reservations for other backward classes - in centrally funded higher educational institutions.

A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and L.S. Panta dismissed the plea and said: 'We are not inclined to vary our March 29 order.'

The order had suspended the law for caste-based quotas, citing the lack of updated census data for the community.

Arjun Singh also said in no uncertain terms that all the Indian Institutes of Management - would have to toe to the government line, refusing to buy their argument that the admission list would be out soon.

'If the government has decided on some matter, IIMs have to follow,' the minister added.

After the apex court verdict Monday, IIM-Ahmedabad director Bakul Dholakia had said: 'There was some lack of clarity earlier. Now that it's clear, action will follow soon.

'After a consensus, we had planned to release the first admission list on April 21 but did not do so after the government communication reached us April 19,' he had added.

The human resource development ministry's letter had asked all the IIMs not to issue 'any offers of admission for the academic year 2007 until such institutions receive further communication' in this regard from the central government and warned them against any 'unilateral decision'.

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