10 pc quota for poor: SC extends stay on Gujarat HC order
New Delhi : The Supreme Court today extended by two more weeks the interim stay on a Gujarat High Court decision quashing a state government ordinance providing 10 per cent quota for economically backward among the unreserved category, including the agitating Patel community.
A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud posted the matter after two weeks when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the interim order be allowed to be continued till next hearing.
The bench then said that there would be no admission till further orders.
The court was hearing a petition by Gujarat government challenging the high court’s August 4 order quashing the ordinance.
While quashing the ordinance, the high court had stayed operation of its order by two weeks on the request of state government to enable filing of an appeal in the apex court.
Terming the May 1 ordinance as “inappropriate and unconstitutional”, the high court had rejected the state’s argument that it was a classification under the general category and not the reserved category and held that it will breach the 50 per cent quota cap set by the Supreme Court.
The court had observed that 10 per cent reservation for poor among the unreserved category took the total quota beyond 50 per cent, which was not permitted as per the apex court’s earlier decision.
The high court had also said the government took the decision without any study or scientific data.
Petitioners Dayaram Verma, Ravjibhai Manani, Dulari Basarge and Gujarat Parents’ Association had separately challenged the ordinance declaring reservation of 10 per cent seats to candidates belonging to the unreserved category with family income cap of Rs 6 lakh annually in government jobs and educational institutions. Their petitions were heard together.
The state government had said the quota was actually “a further classification in the general, open, unreserved category” and does not violate either the Supreme Court order or the constitutional provisions.
The state government, in its affidavit, said the ordinance does not violate provisions of the Constitution, nor does it go against the apex court orders.