India Education
Apex court may refer quota law to constitution bench Wednesday
May 8, 2007 - 5:25:20 PM

New Delhi, May 8 - The Supreme Court will decide Wednesday if a constitutional bench should examine the central law for 27 percent quotas for other backward classes - in centrally-funded higher educational institutions.

A broad legal consensus in favour of referring the issue emerged Tuesday as the bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and L.S. Panta began hearing the government's plea for revival of the quota law, suspended since March 29.

As the hearing began, Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati made a strong pitch to refer the matter to a larger constitutional bench, arguing that it involved several questions of law and facts.

Vahanvati's contentions drew support even from the counsels for the anti-quota lobbyists, including former solicitor general Harish Salve and senior counsel K.K. Venugopal.

With the two sides displaying unanimity, the bench asked all counsels to draft various possible and relevant questions of law and facts relating to the issue that would need to be examined by the constitutional bench.

It asked them to draft their questions and submit them to the court by early Wednesday before it decides on referring the matter to a constitutional bench.

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