Apex court adjourns hearing on government’s quota plea


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday adjourned to Aug 7 the hearing of the central government's latest plea for revival of the suspended law for the reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) students in government-funded higher educational institutions.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan adjourned the hearing on the government's plea, saying the matter would be heard by the five-judge constitution bench, to be formed to examine together the legality of the 93rd amendment of the constitution and the quota law.

The bench, which also included Justice R.V Raveendran and Justice Dalveer Bhandari, said the constitution bench would first adjudicate the government's petition seeking revival of the quota law, suspended since March 29 by the apex court, before taking a call on the larger issue of the constitutionality of the law.

On July 26, the bench had fixed Tuesday as the day on which it would hear the government's third petition for revival of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, saying that the constitution bench would start scrutinising the legality of the Constitution (93rd Amendment) Act, 2005 from Aug 7.

The bench had asked all the parties to the case to file their written arguments by Aug 4.

The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, providing for 27 percent reservation in centrally-funded institutions, had been suspended on a bunch of petitions by anti-reservation activists and groups, including Youth for Equality and advocate Ashok Thakur. The bench had ruled that the legality of the law needed a closer scrutiny.

Ever since suspension of the law, the government has been repeatedly attempting to get the suspension vacated. It had filed its latest and the third application July 17 and had been agitating for its early hearing since then.