Govt which is to provide reservation under Article 15(4) is also entitled to provide the percentage thereof

Kerala High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Antony Dominic, CJ and Dama Seshadri Naidu, J. decided a writ appeal, wherein the Court upheld the validity of the prospectus providing 1% reservation to Other Backward Hindus (OBH) for the admission in post-graduate medical courses, as against the government order providing 3% reservation for medical courses.

The said prospectus was assailed by the respondent in Writ Petition No. 34862 of 2016 as being vitiated by fraud. The learned Single Judge rejected the case of the respondent. He, however, held the said prospectus to be arbitrary, illegal, unfair and in violation of the Government Order as mentioned hereinabove. This judgment was challenged by the petitioner in the instant appeal.

The High Court, after perusal of the record, held that the Government which is to provide reservation under the enabling provision of Article 15(4) of the Constitution, is also entitled to provide the percentage thereof. The Court found that although the above-mentioned government order provided for 3% reservation for OBH category in medical degree courses, however at the same time 1% reservation was followed for admissions into post-graduate courses with Government approval even in previous years. It was held that the fact that 3% reservation was provided in the general Government Order did not mean that that the government did not have liberty to prescribe a lesser percentage of reservation in individual cases such as admission to postgraduate courses. The Court held that the learned Single Judge was totally unjustified in his conclusion that the prospectus concerned was vitiated by illegality or arbitrariness. Hence, the appeal was allowed and the judgment under challenge was set aside. [State of Kerala v. Sandhya S.R. Chandran, 2018 SCC OnLine Ker 1421, order dated 03.04.2108]

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