High Court pe­nal­izes stu­dent for wrongly tak­ing reser­va­tion ben­e­fit

Libertatem Magazine - - Contents - Jane Maria Tomy

Facts

In this case, the court was posed with a ques­tion to strike down the reser­va­tion ben­e­fits of­fered to the pe­ti­tioner, an OBC stu­dent, from the non-creamy layer cat­e­gory. The stu­dent had man­aged to sub­mit fake Non-creamy Layer Cer­tifi­cates to ob­tain the ben­e­fits of reser­va­tion. She is cur­rently study­ing for MBBS in BJ Med­i­cal Col­lege, Pune. The fa­ther of the pe­ti­tioner in fact runs a Hospi­tal in Pune and the value of the build­ing is around one crore per se.

Is­sues

1. Whether it is the gross in­come or the tax­able in­come that must be con­sid­ered for reser­va­tion?

2. Whether the pe­ti­tioner shall be en­ti­tled to con­tinue her ed­u­ca­tion in MBBS which she had se­cured through the ben­e­fit of reser­va­tion?

Judg­ment

In the first is­sue, the court cat­e­gor­i­cally stated that it is the gross in­come of the fa­ther/mother of a stu­dent that shall be con­sid­ered for the reser­va­tion and the same shall not ex­tend be­yond 4.5 lakhs. Nev­er­the­less, the fa­ther as men­tioned in the facts, was a very well-placed sur­geon who is run­ning his own hospi­tal in Pune and his in­come was well be­yond 4.5 lakhs. There­fore, the court up­held the can­cel­la­tion of the Non-Creamy Layer Certificate by the Col­lec­tor of Pune. With re­gard­ing to the sec­ond is­sue, the court re­ferred to a lot of prece­dents and fi­nally held that the pe­ti­tioner shall be li­able to con­tinue the ben­e­fits of reser­va­tion which is al­ready granted to her. But, the reser­va­tion ben­e­fits can­not be availed in the fu­ture alone. For reach­ing this con­clu­sion, the court re­ferred to the cases listed be­low - 1. Dattu Namdeo Thakur v. State of Ma­ha­rash­tra - 2012 1 SCC 549 2. Sandip Sub­hash Parate v. State of Ma­ha­rash­tra - 2006 6 BOM.C.R. 556 - The court high­lighted the doc­trine of pro­por­tion­al­ity fol­lowed in this case.

3. State of Ma­ha­rash­tra v. Milind - (2001) 1 SCC 4 – This case was hav­ing sim­i­lar facts. It was also re­gard­ing the can­cel­la­tion of reser­va­tion of a doc­tor.

Fi­nally, the court sum­ma­rized the ra­tio of all these de­ci­sions in the fol­low­ing words -

“How­ever, an­nul­ment of the ad­mis­sion of the present pe­ti­tioner may not have any fruit­ful re­sults. The ben­e­fit of that seat now can­not be of­fered to a gen­uine OBC can­di­date even if the ad­mis­sion of the pe­ti­tioner is an­nulled. On the con­trary, if the ad­mis­sion of the pe­ti­tioner is an­nulled, it will lead to de­priv­ing the ser­vices of a doc­tor to the so­ci­ety on whom pub­lic money had al­ready been spent.” Thus, the pe­ti­tioner was al­lowed to pur­sue her ed­u­ca­tion and ob­tain the de­gree in MBBS. A retroac­tive an­nul­ment of the reser­va­tion ben­e­fits was not favoured by the court. In­stead, the court held that the pe­ti­tioner, from now on­wards, shall not be en­ti­tled to any ben­e­fits of the OBC Reser­va­tion.

Learn­ing Out­come

This case was ex­tremely sig­nif­i­cant as it high­lighted the in­jus­tice caused to the back­ward com­mu­ni­ties per se when the stu­dents of the creamy layer was avail­ing the reser­va­tion ben­e­fits.

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