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SC to hear quota issue on May 8
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April 24, 2007 12:28 IST
Last Updated: April 24, 2007 14:34 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed May 8 to take up an application moved by the Centre seeking early hearing on the constitutional validity of the law providing 27 per cent quota for the OBCs in elite educational institutions.

Attorney General Milon K Banerji mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan stating that the issue was of public interest as overwhelming number of students lose an academic year if an early date was not fixed.

Earlier in the day, the Centre had pointed out that it would approach the Chief Justice of India to seek an early hearing on the OBC quota issue and hoped for a 'just and compassionate' decision.

"I do hope that a just and compassionate face of justice will emerge in the CJ's court," HRD Minister Arjun Singh told reporters without elaborating on the government's fresh plans to get the stay vacated.

The apex court had, on Monday, declined to vacate the stay granted by it on March 29 causing a major setback to Centre's effort on providing 27 per cent OBC reservation in elite educational institutions from this academic year.

Observing that the government would explore legal options to try and bring 'some relief' to the backward classes, Singh said that the Attorney General would approach the bench of the Chief Justice with a request for an early hearing on the issue.

Asked whether his ministry would give any fresh directive to the Indian Institutes of Management so that they could go ahead with the admissions, he said, "I do not think any fresh directive is needed."

The Ministry had earlier told the IIM directors to put on hold their lists on admision till they hear from the government.

These business schools have been asked to put on hold the admission for time being, he said adding 'in two to three days, I am hope, it will be clarified'.

He said that all IIMs were cooperating as basically these were government institutions and not 'private institutions'.

The government has decided on their autonomy so that their academic functioning was good.

"It is not that they have become independent," he said. Asked whether the government was planning to bring a bill to clip the wings of IIMs, he replied in the negative.

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