A bench of justices V K Jain and Pratibha Rani gave the exemptions to SGTB Khalsa College, Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College, Mata Sundari College and Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, accepting their pleas that they have been declared minority educational institutions by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions.
"We are of the view that the practice which these institutions (four colleges) have been following till 2011-12 in the matter of reservation shall not be changed particularly when these institutions have already been declared as minority education institutions by the NCMEI," the bench said.
The court also modified the May 29 order of its single judge bench, which had directed these four colleges to abide by the University's directions, which had asked them to implement the 27 per cent reservation policy by admitting students belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and OBC categories.
These colleges had moved the division bench challenging the University's May 29 order and seeking exemption from the stipulated 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in the institutions of higher learning. "We, therefore, modify the order (of single bench) dated May 29, 2012 that the appellant (these colleges) shall give reservation in admission for 2012-13 to SC/ST categories, as per the norms of the DU but they will not be obliged to give reservation to the OBC," the bench said.
The bench added that these colleges have been declared minority education institutions by the NCMEI and it would "not be fair" if they are asked to give reservations to OBC students.
"It would not be fair to require these institutions to give reservation to OBC particularly when NCMEI has declared them as minority education institutions," it said.
During the arguments, counsel appearing for the DU did not file reply to the plea of the four colleges citing paucity of time and said in the May 29 order of the single bench, these colleges have given statement that they will abide by the University norms which were practiced till now.
The DU's counsel said these colleges should also give 27 per cent OBC reservation in the admission process.
Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, who appeared for the four DU colleges, submitted that he had consented before the single judge bench that they are ready to give reservations to SC/ST, the practice which was being followed by them till now.
The four minority institutions had approached the division bench seeking its permission to continue with the admission process beginning from June 26 without giving OBC reservation, as was being done by them till now.
Tulsi had argued that the admission process will begin from June 26 when the first cut-off list will be announced and it would end on July 12.
He had cited an order of the Supreme Court, which had held that the aided and unaided minority educational institutions were exempted from giving reservation to OBC candidates in the admission.
The counsel had said the Central Educational Institutions (reservation in admissions) Act came into force in January 2007 and it excludes minority education institutions from the purview of reservation in admissions.
The NCMEI, in July 2011, had passed the order that these four DU colleges were established by the Sikh community and is being administered by the Delhi Sikh gurudwara managing committee and thus they are minority educational institutions, Tulsi had said.