The Supreme Court delivered a big blow to the UPA government’s bid to create a 4.5% minority sub-quota within the 27% OBC quota. Despite the Centre’s fervent plea, it rejected the proposal and pulled up the government for doing shoddy homework to reach the figure of 4.5% as a subquota for backward Muslim groups in government jobs and admissions to colleges, including Indian Institutes of Technology.
Expressing doubts about the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision, a bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said carving out of minority sub-quota from the 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) appeared to be driven only by religion-based consideration. The Andhra Pradesh high court had quashed the Centre’s decision on May 28 on identical grounds. “We are not inclined to grant interim stay of the high court judgment,” the court said.
It also refused to entertain the Centre’s last-ditch attempt to push the minority quota into IIT admissions because it doubted the intention behind the Centre’s decision to carve out 4.5% sub-quota for minorities from among the 27% reservation to OBCs.
The Centre had on December 22, 2011 decided to implement a 4.5% minority quota to benefit 82 Muslim groups included in the central list of OBCs, which together were entitled to a total of 27% reservation in jobs and admissions to central educational institutions, from January 1 this year.