OBC’s 10 percent relief is on eligibility marks: Apex court (Lead)

August 18th, 2011 - 10:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Other Backward Classes (OBC) students will qualify for admissions under the reserved category if they have 10 percent less marks than the eligibility level fixed for the general category students, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The apex court clarified that the 10 percent relaxation being given to OBC students did not mean that it will be 10 percent less than the marks obtained by the last student admitted under the general category.

The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik said this while upholding a Delhi High Court judgment of Sep 7, 2010.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Raveendran said that for the academic year 2011-12 “if any central educational institution has already determined the cut-off marks for OBCs with reference to the marks secured by the last candidate in the general category, and has converted the unfilled OBC seats to general category seats and allotted the seats to general category candidates, such admissions shall not be disturbed”.

The judgment said that in institutions “where the process of conversion (of OBC seats to general category) and allotment is not completed, the OBC seats shall be filled by OBC candidates”.

The court said that the OBC seats could still be converted to general category. “Only if OBC candidates possessing the minimum eligibility/qualifying marks are not available in the OBC merit list, the OBC seats shall be converted into general category seats.”

In such institutions, if the last date for admissions has expired, the last date for admissions shall be extended till Aug 31, as a special case, to enable admissions to the vacant OBC seats.

The apex court verdict came on a petition by a former director of Indian Institute of Technology-Chennai P.V. Indiresan who challenged the Sep 7, 2010, high court verdict.

Referring to the clarificatory order passed by it Oct 14, 2008, the apex court judges said Thursday that the use of words “cut-off marks” in that order did not refer to the marks secured by the last candidate to be admitted in the general category or in any particular category.

The judgment said that the minimum marks to be possessed by OBC candidates could not be determined by calculating 10 percent relaxation with reference to the marks secured by the last candidate admitted under the general category.

Leaving nothing to doubt, the judgment said that the apex court’s Oct14, 2008, clarificatory order meant that where minimum eligibility marks in the qualifying examinations were prescribed for admission, say as 50 percent for general category candidates, the minimum eligibility marks for OBCs should not be less than 45 percent.

The minimum eligibility marks for OBCs can be fixed at any number between 45 and 50, at the discretion of the institution, the judges said.

Where the candidates were required to take an entrance examination and if the qualifying marks in it was fixed as 40 percent for general category candidates, the qualifying marks for OBC candidates should not be less than 36.

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