‘Group A officers’ wards quota in school needs statutory backing’

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court was told on Thursday that 60 percent quota for the children of group A officers belonging to all India services in the elite Sanskriti school was a “complex issue” and could only be sustained by a statutory provision, not merely by an executive decision.

Telling a bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that he was opposed to the quota for the children of officers of the IAS, IPS, IFS, RBI and defence services, amicus curiae Kapil Sibal said that it was a “complex issue” and may be “statutory provision is needed” to support it.

However, he said that some avenues had to found out for the wards of the group A officers as they get transferred often.

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Sibal who was appointed amicus curiae on January 4 in the hearing of the central government and the Sanskriti school’s plea seeking the restoration of the quota which was quashed by Delhi High Court on November 6.

The high court’s order came after it examined the validity of the quota of which it had taken suo motu cognizance in 2006.

Pointing to the huge public funds that were spent on putting up the Sanskriti School, Sibal said so long “it continues to be a society then there will be problems” and reiterated that it has to have a statutory backing.

Addressing the pleas for the restoration of the quota, Sibal said that interim relief sought by the government and the school must come with a rider that there must be a statutory institutional arrangement for Sanskriti School to stand on. He said that admission process has to be transparent.

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Apparently not comfortable with the idea of a statutory backing for the Sanskriti School, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said: “It can be statutory or non-statutory.”

As Rohatgi said that such a position would have a bearing on the schools run by the three wings of the armed forces, a lawyer seeking to be impleaded on behalf of his child said that in the admissions to schools run by the armed forces were open to the wards of senior officers and soldiers as well.

Arguing that the provision of 60 percent quota was contrary to the pronouncement of the apex court in an earlier case that it can’t exceed more than 50 percent, the lawyer told the court that in a “democratic country, they are using public money for an elite school for a particular class of officers”.

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At this Rohatgi told the court that it has been decided that 60 percent quota would now include Group B, C, and D class officers’s wards and this had been told to the high court in an affidavit also.

While not passing any order on the plea for the restoration of quota, the bench said that it would consider the plea for an interim relief on January 11 when matter would be heard further.

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