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Anti-quota activists welcome Supreme Court judgment

Bindu Shajan Perappadan


‘The Supreme Court has directed the Government to prepare a list of beneficiaries’

‘Exclusion of creamy layer will be used by the upper castes to deny the benefits to OBCs’


NEW DELHI: While a vast majority of anti-quota activists in the Capital welcomed the Supreme Court judgment on reservation for Other Backward Classes in educational institutions with the exclusion of creamy layer, some termed it a “mixed bag verdict”.

“The Supreme Court has upheld 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management and other Central educational institutions, but excluded the creamy layer from the benefit. Though we welcome the judgment, it is a mixed bag verdict. We are opposed to caste-based reservation and welcome the fact that the Supreme Court has looked and dealt with the issue of the creamy layer,” said Kumar Harsh, president of the Delhi Chapter of the Youth for Equality which was in the forefront of the anti-reservation agitation in the Capital.

He, however, said the group “would not hesitate to start another anti-quota agitation if the Central Government makes any attempts to circumvent the apex court’s verdict regarding the creamy layer”.

List of beneficiaries

“The Supreme Court has directed the Government to prepare a list of beneficiaries. If that list is not to our satisfaction, we will challenge it in court,” said Dr. Harsh.

While welcoming the Supreme Court judgment, the Progressive Medical and Scientists Forum (PMSF), a pro-reservation group, said it was “dismayed over the fact that the creamy layer has been excluded from the benefits”.

PMSF member Kapil Yadav said: “We feel let down by the exclusion of the creamy layer. Our specific objection to the judgment is having a minimum cut-off criterion on one hand and exclusion of creamy layer on the other. This will further exclude the OBCs. In AIIMS alone, OBCs have only 3 per cent representation. The uplift of the backward sections cannot be achieved in one generation and moreover, this exclusion of creamy layer will be used by the upper castes to deny the benefits to a larger section of OBCs.”

A senior physician at AIIMS said: “The principle of creamy layer though acceptable should not be used as a ploy to derail reservations. The Government should also fulfil its pledge made in Parliament about increasing the over all number of seats in educational institutions so that there is no reduction in the seats available for the students of general category. The Central Government must simultaneously strictly ensure proper implementation of the reservation policy so that social objectives of the policy are fully realised.”

Reacting to the judgment, IIT-Delhi Director Surendra Prasad said: “We cannot implement the 27 per cent quota in one go. It has to be done in a phased manner. We will have to wait and see how we do that.”

Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor B. B. Bhattacharya said: “We welcome the verdict. While it is too early to talk about its implementation, the judgment is consistent with the philosophy of our University.”

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