The government will move the Supreme Court on the issue of 4.5% quota for socially and educationally backward classes belonging to minorities early next week keeping in view the ongoing admission process at central universities across the country, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
Sources in the HRD ministry confirmed that the government was ready with its special leave petition and could move the court as early as Monday for a stay against the Andhra Pradesh High court order to scrap the minority sub-quota.
The affirmation comes on a day when law minister Salman Khurshid told reporters that the government would move court in July. The statement was met with concern as it would put the admission process across central universities in jeopardy. While the counseling and seat allocation is taking place in IITs, other central universities will also begin their process, announcing cut-offs and admission dates in this month.
“I have spoken to (HRD Minister) Kapil Sibal. He has no worry at this point of time about the issue of whether the benefit of 4.5% will be available to students this session… I asked him whether there was a shortage of time. The impression was there wasn’t,” law Minister Salman Khurshid told a press conference.
The law minister said he was in touch with Attorney General G E Vahanvati and they have, in principle, agreed that the matter will be prepared, filed and hopefully heard in the Supreme Court in the first week of July. The apex court reopens on July 2. He said the review will be filed before July 2.
Former member secretary to the National Commission for Backward Classes P S Krishnan, who is advising the government on the case, said, “My view is that the government has a strong case which was not adequately presented in the Andhra HC.”
Sources said that there appeared to be a miscommunication on the urgency in taking the matter to court. In the wake of the Andhra Pradesh High Court order, IITs have decided to abide by the ruling, ignoring the quota provision as of now.
A recent statement by IITs had said that “all the shortlisted candidates are advised to note that availability of 4.5% reservation for OBC (non creamy layer-minority) shall depend on the legal developments till June 13 and hence they may register the choice of courses accordingly”. This means that about 300 students who were short-listed under the sub-quota may not get the course or institute of their choice.