India Education
CPI-M criticises Supreme Court on quota
Apr 5, 2007 - 4:33:34 PM

New Delhi, April 5 - The Communist Party of India-Marxist - has said that the Supreme Court had 'cast doubts on legislature's competence' last week when it stayed 27 percent quota for backward classes in higher educational institutions.

According to the CPI-M, which along with three Left parties support Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government from outside, the reservation was not an act of charity for the oppressed in the society, so the government should take all necessary measures required to implement the legislation.

Pointing out that only legislature has the power to make law in the Indian constitution, it said in an editorial of party weekly People's Democracy: 'The Supreme Court has now stayed such implementation and allegedly cast doubts on the legislature's competence in making the law. The country needs to seriously revisit this issue.'

The apex court had suspended the implementation of the law that provided 27 percent reservation for the other backward classes - in central higher educational institutions till August, saying that the government did not have sufficient documentation to decide on the OBC population in the country.

The editorial also said: 'The stay order by a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court appears logically inconsistent with this very Supreme Court's nine-judge bench that, on an earlier occasion, approved 27 percent reservations for OBCs in government jobs with the exclusion of the creamy layer.

'If reservation in jobs is correct, then how can reservations in educational institutions be wrong? If reservations in educational institutions are wrong, then how can reservations in jobs be correct?' it asked.

The Communist weekly pointed out that varying estimates of the OBC population had shown it to be above the 27 percent mark. 'The Mandal Commission had estimated the OBC population to be 52 percent,' it said.

'Would an exact count today be the basis for the apex court to increase the quantum of reservations from 27 percent to a proportion that exactly matches the OBC population?' the editorial asked.

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