Delhi High Court has allowed the National Law University, Delhi, to correct the error of removing vertical reservation for OBC and EWS categories in its admission notification, and place a revised notification before the court on Monday.
While noting that the University has misinterpreted the order of the court dated June 29, wherein a stay was imposed on 50% domicile reservation, the Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad clarified that the said order was only restricted to domicile reservation and had nothing to do with vertical reservations.
The order has come in an application moved by Delhi Government before challenging the admission notification issued by the National Law University, Delhi, so far as it eliminates vertical reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) categories.
While rapping the University for misinterpreting its order dated June 29, the court said:
'You have squarely botched up the order… You are having a selective reading of our order as per your assumptions and creating a mess for the students. We expect better interpretation of orders from a law school. You have chosen to undo things that shouldn't have been undone.'
Meanwhile, NLU Delhi informed the court that if they allow vertical reservation for aforesaid categories, they won't be able to provide hostel accommodation to all B.A. LL.B students as there are infrastructure constraints.
The University, however, did admit the fact that it had misunderstood the order of the court and that it is willing to issue a fresh admission notification within a week.
'We are unable to move our concerns as they Governing Council has not been holding meetings', Mr Sanjay Vashishtha, who appeared for the NLU Delhi submitted.
While directing the University to place the revised notification/addendum before the court before Monday, the court highlighted that:
'If the University is facing problems with regards to infrastructure or reservation, there are other ways to take legal recourse for that. The order of this court cannot be misinterpreted to do the same.'
Moved as an application in a pending writ petition titled Balvinder Sangwan v. State of NCT of Delhi
the application wanted the court to clarify as to whether the maintenance of status quo ante, as mentioned in the order dated June 29, refers to only 50% domicile reservation and not to the vertical reservation for OBC and EWS categories.
The Delhi Government had submitted that the decision of the University to eliminate 22% reservation for OBC and 10% reservation for EWS in its Admission Notification released on June 30 is not only the incorrect interpretation of the court's order dated June 29, but it also goes against the University's constitutional and statutory obligations.
It was submitted that the present writ petition only concerned itself with the 50% domicile reservation, and had nothing to do with the vertical reservation for OBC and EWS categories.
It was argued in the application that the University is statutorily bound to provide vertical reservation to OBC under Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006.
In addition to this, the application also challenged the decision of the University to not to provide hostel accommodation to LL.M and PhD students. It says:
'Now, in terms of the Admission Notification dated 30.06.2020, only a total of 415 students (plus detainees and contingency if any) will have to be accommodated in the Hostels, as against provision for 480 accommodations.'
It was the case of the Delhi Government that by its revised admission notification, the University is implicitly discouraging applications from candidates that may hail from OBC or EWS sections of society.
Therefore, the Delhi Government wanted the court to stay the operation of the revised admission notification dated 30/06/20 till the final disposal of the present application.