After announcing that the Centre would handle the situation arising out of Andhra Pradesh High Courts order quashing of the 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities with a sense of urgency,Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday said the Centre would move the Supreme Court against the verdict only in the first week of July after the court resumes from its summer break.
The statement took the academic circles,and even the HRD Ministry ,by surprise as the delay in challenging the HC order quashing the sub-quota carved out of the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs will have a bearing on the admission process. All central educational institutions have already begun the admission process for the next academic session.
Sources in the HRD Ministry,however,told The Indian Express that a special leave petition (SLP) will be filed by next week keeping in mind the admission schedule of central educational institutions. But sources close to Khurshid said the government is not keen to approach the vacation bench as it could post the matter for hearing at a later date and would hence file the SLP after the summer break is over .
Sources said there appeared to be a communication gap between the two ministries,leading to the confusion. The issue,however,is said to have been sorted out and sources said the government will approach the SC early next week to ensure central educational institutes have clarity on the admission process vis-a-vis sub-quota.
Khurshids statement that the government would approach the Supreme Court in the first week of July came at a conference of state ministers of minority affairs here. Khurshid,who is also the Union Minority Affairs Minister,reiterated the governments argument that there was no illegality in creating the sub-quota as no new group was added to the list of backwards for giving reservation and that the sub-quota of 4.5 per cent was a proportional share based on their population.
When his attention was drawn to the admission process,he said,I have spoken to (HRD Minister) Kapil Sibal. He has no worry at this point in time about the issue of whether the benefit of 4.5 per cent will be available to students this session… I asked him whether there was a shortage of time. The impression was there wasnt.
Khurshid said he has discussed the matter with the Attorney General and it was,in principle,agreed that the matter will be prepared,filed and hopefully heard in the SC in the first week of July.
The delay,if it happens,could upset the admission process. Already,IITs have announced they would ignore the 4.5 per cent sub-quota and implement the HC order. All other central educational institutes are also gearing up to do the same.