NAOREM RAKHESH SINGH AND ORS. Vs. THE MANIPUR UNIVERSITY AND ORS.
LAWS(MANIP)-2015-9-3
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
Decided on September 01,2015

Naorem Rakhesh Singh And Ors. Appellant
VERSUS
The Manipur University And Ors. Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

SALES TAX OFFICER CIRCLE 1 JABALPUR VS. HANUMAN PRASAD [REFERRED TO]
COMMR OF INCOME TAX U P COMMR OF INCOME TAX U P VS. JAGANNATH MAHADEO PRASAD:GAURI DUTT BHAGWAN DASS AND CO [REFERRED TO]
PUNJAB TIN SUPPLY CO CHANDIGARH LEKH RAJ VS. CENTRAL GOVERNMENT:CENTRAL GOVERNMENT [REFERRED TO]
S SUNDARAM PILLAI KOUSALAYA DEVT MURUGESA MUDALIAR N S DHANALAKSHMI AMMAL THAHIRA BEEVI M BALAKRISHNAN K R KRISHNAN VS. V R PATTABIRAMAN:P LAKSHMINARAYANA CHARYA:SELVARAJ CHETTIAR:B S RAMACHARI:R A MUTHIAH NADAR:FATHIMA BAI:P BHANUMATT [REFERRED TO]
GIRDHARI LAL AND SONS VS. BALBIR NATH MATHUR [REFERRED TO]
BAKUL CASHEW CO VS. SALES TAX OFFICER QUILON [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. RAMESHWAR RATHOD [REFERRED TO]
DELHI TRANSPORT CORPORATION VS. D T C MAZDOOR CONGRESS ANB [REFERRED TO]
SUB COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY RAJ BIRBAL VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION SECONDARY VS. PUSHPENDRA KUMAR [REFERRED TO]
SHYAM SUNDER VS. RAM KUMAR [REFERRED TO]
S L SRINIVASA JUTE TWINE MILLS P LTD VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
ASHOKA KUMAR THAKUR VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF PUNJAB VS. BHAJAN KAUR [REFERRED TO]
NAMIT SHARMA VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
BADSHAH VS. SAU. URMILA BADSHAH GODSE [REFERRED TO]
HARDEEP SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
BALAJI NAGAR RESIDENTIAL ASSOCIATION VS. STATE OF TAMIL NADU [REFERRED TO]
DELHI GYMKHANA CLUB LTD. VS. EMPLOYEES STATE INSURANCE CORPN. [REFERRED TO]
SRI SIDHHARTH VIYAS VS. RAVI NATH MISRA [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA VS. DILEEP KUMAR SINGH [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

N. Kotiswar Singh, J. - (1.)CLARITY and certainty are the hallmark of law. The path laid by the law should be clear, well -illuminated and broad enough to be traversed by all. Problems arise when such is not the case, and one has to traverse through a maze of narrow lanes and bye lanes of provisions and subjected to contradictory indicators and ambiguity. The present case is one such instance where the extent of reservation for the Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes has been clouded with uncertainties. The issue arises out of application of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 regarding reservation of seats for admission in the Manipur University, established under a Central Act, and admittedly a Central Educational Institution within the meaning of Section 2(d)(1) of the Act. Section 3 of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the CEI Act) provides for reservation of seats for admission in the Central Educational Institutions in the following manner : - -
"(i) 15% for the Scheduled Castes,

(ii) 7.5% for the Scheduled Tribes, and

(iii) 27% for the Other Backward Classes out of the annual permitted strength of each branch of study or faculty."

(2.)SECTION 4(a) of the CEI Act as it originally stood further provided that provisions of Section 3 of the Act shall not apply to a Central Educational Institution established in the tribal areas referred to in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. Accordingly, as per the CEI Act, 2006 as it originally stood, reservation relating to admissions to the Manipur University was governed by the provisions of Section 3 of the Act as mentioned above as Manipur University was not established in the tribal area referred to the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, thus, not covered by the exemption clause under Section 4(a) of the Act. Prior to that, before the enforcement of the said Act, the Manipur University was following the reservation norm of the State Government, i.e. 2% for the Scheduled Castes and 31% for the Scheduled Tribes. The said State norm was discontinued after the enforcement of the CEI Act, 2006 in view of the provisions of Section 3 as mentioned above. In other words, before the implementation of the CEI Act, 2006, the State norms was adopted for reservation of seats but after implementation of the said Act, the norm provided under Section 3 (viz. 15% for the SCs, 7.5% for the STs and 27% for the OBCs) came to be applied in the Manipur University for admission of studies in various academic courses which is different from the State norm.
The Central Educational Institutions Act, 2006 underwent certain amendments in the year 2012, as regards the reservation of seats with the enactment of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Act, 2012 which, inter alia, inserted two provisos in Section 3 of the principal Act making certain changes in the extent of reservation in Central Educational Institutions situated in the tribal areas referred to in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution as well in the States located in the specified north -eastern region. Amendments also were made in the definition clauses in Section (2), by inserting two clauses, viz., "(ia)" defining "specified north -eastern region" which means the area comprising of the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and the tribal areas of Assam referred to in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, and another definition clause, "(ib)" defining "State seats", in relation to a Central Educational Institution to mean such seats, if any, out of the annual permitted strength in each branch of study or faculty as are earmarked to be filled up from amongst the eligible students of the State in which such institution is situated. On the basis of the aforesaid amendments made to the Principal Act of 2006, the Manipur University refixed the percentages of reservation for the SCs, STs and OBCs which turned out to be same as the State norm. Thus, after the amendment of the CEI Act, 2006 in the year 2012, the Manipur University started following the reservation of seats similar to the State norm. The said two provisos which have been inserted to Section 3 of the Principal Act read as follows : - -

"Provided that the State seats, if any, in a Central Educational Institution situated in the tribal areas referred to in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution shall be governed by such reservation policy for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, as may be specified, by notification in the Official Gazette, by the Government of the State where such institution is situated:

Provided further that if there are no State seats in a Central Educational Institution and the seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes exceed the percentage specified under clause (i) or the seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes exceed the percentage specified under clause (ii) or the seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes taken together exceed the sum of percentages specified under clauses (i) and (ii), but such seats are -

(a) less than fifty per cent of the annual permitted strength on the date immediately preceding the date of commencement of this Act, the total percentage of the seats required to be reserved for the Other Backward Classes under clause (iii) shall be restricted to the extent such sum of percentages specified under clauses (i) and (ii) falls short of fifty per cent of the annual permitted strength;

(b) more than fifty per cent of the annual permitted strength on the date immediately preceding the date of commencement of this Act, in that case no seat shall be reserved for the Other Backward Classes under clause (iii) but the extent of the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall not be reduced in respect of Central Educational Institutions in the specified north -eastern region."

(3.)ACCORDINGLY , the percentage of seats reserved for admission for the SC candidates which was earlier fixed at 15% in terms of Section 3(i) of the CEI Act, 2006 has now been reduced to 2% and the percentage of reservation for the STs which was earlier fixed at 7.5% was increased to 31% after the Manipur University refixed the percentages in terms of the amendments to the Act as mentioned above. The petitioners who belong to SC community thus have felt aggrieved that the percentage of reservation for the SCs has been reduced, because of which, in some subjects there is no reservation at all for the SC students. Accordingly, the present petitioners have challenged the refixation of reservation of seats similar to the said State norm by the Manipur University in this writ petition. The respondents No. 13 to 19 who are also SC students have impleaded themselves in support of the claim of the petitioners. On the other hand, the respondents No. 8 to 12 who all belong to ST communities in the State of Manipur have impleaded themselves to oppose the claim of the writ petitioners contending that the refixation of percentage of reservation for the SCs, STs and OBCs by the Manipur University by following the State norm is in conformity with the amendment made to Section 3 of the Principal Act.
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