In the suit of Shri Kshetrimayum Maheshkumar Singh and Anr. v/s The Manipur University and Ors. the supreme court ruled that Manipur University is required to follow reservation norms of 2% for SC candidates, 31% for STs, 17% for OBCs for Admission Purposes.
In the year 2005, the Manipur University Act was legislated, whereafter the University was converted from a ‘State University’ to a ‘Central University.’ On 04th January, 2007, the Reservation Act was notified. Section 3 of the said Act prescribed reservation of seats in the Central Educational Institutions. From the academic year 2009-10 onwards, respondent No. 1 – University started following the reservation norms as prescribed in the Reservation Ac.
On 20th June, 2012, the aforesaid Statute was amended by virtue of the Amendment Act and as a result of the said amendment, Clauses (a) and (b) were inserted in Section 2, that is, the definition clause and two provisos were inserted in Section 3. Further, Clause (a) of Section 4 was omitted and sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 5 were amended.
Advocate Ms. Punam Kumari for the appellants has assailed the impugned judgment contending that the High Court has erred in taking a view that the proviso inserted vide the Amendment Act, would be applicable to a Central Educational Institution located in States falling within the “Specified north eastern region” and that the extent of reservation would have to be worked out on the basis of the figures of percentage for the SCs and STs, as was existing on the date immediately preceding the date of commencement of the Reservation Act. the amendments brought about by the Amendment Act are only in respect of tribal States falling under the purview of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India and not in respect of other States including a State like Manipur falling under “Specified north eastern region”, defined in the amended Section 2 (a) of the Parent Act. The Amendment Act was legislated to ensure that reservation for SC and ST candidates as prescribed in Section 3 of the Parent Act, should not be reduced from the benchmark of 15% and 7.5% respectively. Rather, the Amendment Act contemplates that the percentage of reservation for SC and ST candidates earmarked in Section 3 of the Parent Act could be increased even to the detriment of the earmarked percentage of reservation for OBC candidates, to ensure that the overall limit of 50% reservation for SC and ST candidates taken collectively, is not disturbed in any manner.
Additional Solicitor General Mr. Sanjay Jain appeared for Union of India supported the findings returned in the impugned judgment to the effect that the percentage of reservation for SC and ST candidates was existing and being applied by the University when it was a ‘State University’, before the commencement of the Reservation Act, viz. 31% for STs and 2% for SCs which was required to be adopted for determination of the percentage of reservation for ST and SC candidates in the University and that the percentage of reservation for OBC candidates was to be restricted to the extent of the percentages of reservation for the ST and SC candidates taken collectively, provided it falls short of 50% of the annual permitted strength, as provided under clause (a) of the second proviso to the amended Section 3 of the Reservation Act.
The single judge bench of Justice Hima Kohli noted that the University was right in reverting back to the position obtaining immediately before the commencement of the Reservation Act by reserving seats in respect of ST, SC and OBC candidates, pegged at 31%, 2% and 17% respectively which was in consonance with the Manipur State Reservation Policy.
While dismissing the appeal the court upheld the impugned judgment and endorsed the view taken by the Single Judge that after amendment of the Reservation Act, the University had to follow the reservation norms of 2% for SC candidates, 31% for ST candidates and 17% for OBC candidates which is in consonance with the second proviso to Section 3 of the Reservation Act inserted by virtue of the Amendment Act.