Two days before they were required to submit their cut-off lists to Delhi University,four colleges that were preparing to reserve 50 per cent seats for Sikh students this academic year,moved the Delhi High Court on Friday,seeking an exemption from reserving seats for SC,ST and OBC students.
Citing the minority status granted to them by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution (NCMEI),the colleges Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College,Guru Gobind Singh College,Mata Sundri College and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College run by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC),asked for permission from the court to submit their cut-off lists as per their past practice.
The colleges were declared minority institutes last year,but this was challenged by DU in court.
The colleges had challenged a single-judge bench order of May 29,stating that if they wanted to admit students for the current academic year,the process had to be mandatorily in accordance with the DU guidelines,which lays down reservation for SC,ST and OBC students.
Appearing for the colleges,senior advocate K T S Tulsi said this order was bad in law since a previous division bench order had protected them against any judicial order on admitting students and,further,after getting minority status,they could not be compelled to make reservation like a non-minority institution.
Tulsi also pointed out that the cut-off lists,which were to be sent to the university by Monday,could only be prepared after a clarification from the court on the issue of reservation.
We are willing to go ahead with the admission as per our past practice,which has been mentioned in the May 24 DUs circular to us, he added.
He submitted that the reservation policy went against the Constitution and the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act of 2006.
The colleges contended that the reservation policy was not applicable to their institutions in view of a Supreme Court verdict on OBC reservations. The apex court had held that minority educational institutions (MEI) aided or unaided were exempted from reserving seats for SC/ST and OBCs.
The Appellant (colleges) herein filed an Application for necessary directions thereby permitting the Appellant to continue with the admission/recruitment process for the academic year 2012-2013,as was being done by the Appellant in the past years in the interest of the academic career of thousands of students who would apply for admission so that there is no ambiguity with respect to their status of admission, said the petition.
All along for the past 20-30 years,Delhi University has permitted the DSGMC to give preferential treatment to the religious and linguistic minorities in the appellant colleges. There is no reason as to why Delhi University now wishes to treat the colleges as non-MEIs, stated the petition.
Contesting this appeal,senior advocate Pinki Anand and advocate Amit Bansal said every institution was mandated to follow the admission policies of the university with its clear-cut stipulations on reservation.
At this,a bench of Justices Veena Birbal and Manmohan Singh directed the DU counsel to place on record a reply of the university and posted the matter to Monday.