NLU Delhi
NLU Delhi
Litigation News

No stay on reservation for OBC, EWS categories: Delhi HC allows NLU Delhi to issue clarification after Delhi govt moves application

In its revised admission notification dated June 30, NLU Delhi had removed the 50% horizontal reservation for locals, as well as the 22% reservation for OBC in Delhi region and 10% reservation for EWS.

Aditi Singh

Clarifying that its June 29 stay order only pertained to the 50% horizontal reservation for Delhi locals, the Delhi High Court today directed National Law University, Delhi to issue an addendum to its admission notification. (Balvinder Sangwan & Ors and GNCT of Delhi)

NLU Delhi has now been directed to amend its revised admission notification to clarify that the reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Backward Sections (EWS) will continue.

In its initial admission notification issued in January 2020, NLU Delhi had sought to provide the 50% horizontal reservation for locals, along with 22% reservation for OBC in Delhi region and 10% reservation for the EWS category.

On June 29, the High Court, however, stayed the 50% reservation for students who have passed their qualifying exams in Delhi after petitions were moved by the University's students and alumni.

Following the issuance of a revised admission notification pursuant to the High Court order, the Delhi government moved an application stating that under the garb of implementing the High Court's order, NLU Delhi has done away with OBC and EWS reservation for the upcoming academic session.

"Why did you come so late?", the Court asked Delhi government Standing Counsel Ramesh Singh and Advocate Tara Narula.

The Court then questioned counsel for NLU Delhi, Advocate Sanjay Vashishth, as to how the University arrived at a conclusion that even OBC and EWS reservations had been stayed.

Vashishth stated that the order had called for maintenance of "status quo ante as of the previous academic year". The Court responded,

"You interpreted the order as you had to...If you had any doubt, you should have come to the High Court."
Delhi High Court

The Court reiterated that the stay was only with respect to the horizontal reservation and the same was clear from paragraphs 39 and 40 of the order.

Asking NLU Delhi to undo what it had done, the Court remarked,

"You are creating a mess for the students. As it is, it's very late."
Delhi High Court

NLU Delhi submitted that OBC reservation could be rolled out in a phased manner, and increasing the seats would result in infrastructural restraints.

"You have a problem, you deal with it legally...you cannot do away with reservation which you chose to introduce", the Court said.

When counsel for the petitioners, Advocate Nipun Saxena, pointed out that the pleas did deal with the issue of lack of infrastructure, the Court stated that at this stage, it was only dealing with the issue of stay and the main petition was still pending consideration.

The Court thus allowed NLU Delhi to issue an addendum to its revised admission notification dated June 30 and clarify the reservation for students from OBC and EWS categories.

As per the Court's order, the same shall be placed before it by the next date of hearing on July 13.

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