Apex court for clarity on OBC students’ admission (Lead)

August 2nd, 2011 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday said the additional 10 percent weightage being given to students from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in relation to their general category counterparts was an illusion as the cut-off marks for admission vary from college to college and course to course and places them in an uncertain situation.

The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik said the admission criterion should be decided before the admission process commences and not after it has been set rolling.

The court said this during hearing on a petition by some students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University here.

“Everything about the admission (criterion) should be decided in advance and not after the process of admission has commenced,” said Justice Raveendran.

“The rules of the game are decided before it begins and not after it has started and is in progress,” he said.

The court said after resuming the hearing the case on the direction of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia.

Justice Raveendra and Justice Patnaik withdrew themselves from the hearing July 27 after senior counsel P.P. Rao, appearing for the JNU students, said that the matter should be heard by a bench including Justice Dalveer Bhandari.

Rao insisted on Justice Bhandari’s inclusion in the bench as the latter had dealt with the matter earlier as a part of a five-judge constitution bench that heard and upheld the 27 percent reservation for OBC students.

The court expressed the apprehension that the way OBC reservation policy was being implemented a situation might arise where in certain courses OBC students might not get admitted under reserved category.

Appearing for the OBC students, senior counsel A. Suba Rao told the court that “he had no quarrel with the institutions of excellence fixing higher threshold marks to maintain their standards but you (institutions) can’t devise or operate the OBC reservation in an arbitrary manner which eventually opens the gates for general category students”.

The court was hearing a petition challenging the Delhi High Court verdict of Sep 7 last year which said that the minimum eligibility criteria for admission under the OBC category would be at the most 10 percent below the cut-off fixed for the general category.

The case would be heard next Wednesday.

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