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Govt won't seek review of quota verdict: Arjun
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The Reservation Issue

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April 13, 2008 16:03 IST

In spite of reservations from allies on the creamy layer issue, the government has said it would implement the Supreme Court verdict on the OBC quota and does not want to seek a review of the judgment.

At the same time, Human Resource Development  Minister Arjun Singh [Images] sought to mollify allies upset over the exclusion of creamy layer, stating the government as also the United Progressive Alliance favoured reservation benefits for the creamy layer.

"The Supreme Court verdict is implementable and it will be implemented," Singh told PTI in an interview, asserting that the process would be initiated in the coming academic session to the extent possible.

Singh steered clear of the demands by allies, including the DMK, for a fair and just review of the parameters that would define the creamy layer. "It has been very carefully done. The overall structure of the judgment is very positive," he said.

Asked whether the government has plans to go for a review of the verdict, he said he does not want to speculate.

"There is no such thing at present," he said when asked whether the government could seek reference of the issue to a larger SC bench.

"The basic issue has been resolved. There are differences on the creamy layer issue. We will try to sort out differences by discussions," he said, adding that a meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee was likely soon after the reconvening of Parliament session on April 15.

Singh said the government's strategy was to implement whatever is implementable and decide on the rest of the matter after discussions.

The HRD Minister, who had played a proactive role for the reservation issue, said that without confronting the apex court, the government would examine the suggestions from

Singh, who has been asked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] to consult all allies in the wake of the situation arising out of the verdict, said the government's endeavour was to sort out differences through discussions.

He noted that the concept of creamy layer was only in connection with the OBCs and it should be applied very carefully to avoid a situation that would deny the benefit in genuine cases.

Taking a dig at a section in Congress that has been claiming that the verdict was 'unimplementable' and there was confusion about it, he said the confusion was created by those who were against the concept. "It (verdict) is only not clear to them," he said.

"These people didn't want it to be implemented earlier. Now, they say it is non-implementable," Singh said, adding this was their last-ditch attempt to block it.

Replying to a question, he said there is no immediate plan to bring the bill to provide reservation in private and unaided educational institutions.

The HRD minister said that a communication would be sent to the institutions, including IIMs, this week on the admission process.

Asked whether the OBC issue was the achievement of Congress, he said: "Obviously. There cannot be any doubt on that. It was the initiative of the UPA government. All this could not have happened except the support and guidance of the Congress President and the Prime Minister".

Asked whether it would have an impact on the assembly polls in Karnataka, Singh said it should have.

Singh added that the government is yet to get a copy of the judgment.

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