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Apex court to examine Kerala education quota for poor

Monday August 29, 2011 11:08:52 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday agreed to examine the validity of the Kerala government's order reserving 10 percent seats in educational institutions for students coming from economically weaker sections of the "forward" communities.

The apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice A.K. Ganguly decided to entertain petitions by the Kerala Muslim Jamaath Council, the Christian Service Society and another organisation.

Senior counsel P.S. Patwalia, appearing for a petitioner, sought some interim relief against the Kerala government's decision but the court did not entertain it.

The court said that so far none of the contending parties had filed their replies.

The senior counsel referred to an earlier verdict of the apex court saying that economic criteria could not be the basis of reservation.

The petitioners contended that reservation could only be made for people who were socially and educationally backward sections of the society and none from the "forward" communities was eligible for it.

The petition said that if the state was really interested in imparting education to economically weaker sections of the society, then it should provide free education to all those living below the poverty line irrespective of their caste or social denomination.

As counsel for the Kerala government said that the Congress-led state government supported the decision taken by the pervious Left Front government, the court asked it to file an affidavit stating its decision to carry it forward.

The petitioners challenged the Kerala High Court order dismissing their plea seeking the revocation of the 2008 order of the government.

The petitioners want the apex court to decide whether such a reservation was valid under the constitution or any other prevailing law.




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