NEW DELHI, Aug. 21 (HT Legal Correspondent) The Supreme Court today held that the residents of Uttarakhand and hill regions in Uttar Pradesh must be treated as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens.
They were, therefore, entitled to be considered for reservation of seats m medical colleges and other services of the State, a division bench comprising Justice S. B. Majumdar and Justice D. P. Wadhwa ruled while allowing an appeal by Mr Jagdish Negi, president, Uttarakhand Jan Morcha and others.
Justice Majumdar, who delivered the 28-page judgment on behalf of the court, observed that if the residents of Uttarakhand and hill region were to be treated as socially and educationally backward class of citizens for a given year, in future, such decision should be taken by the State well in advance and should be published at an appropriate time.
The court, however, rejected a contention of the petitioners that such reservation should continue without any limitation or there could not be periodical review about the said reservation policy.
“It is true that as per the statutory scheme of reservation as envisaged by the Reservation Act, 27 per cent reservation for educationally and socially backward classes of citizens m the Uttar Pradesh in all Government services and educational institutions has to be continued so long as this statutory scheme of reservation continues in the State,” the judges said.
The judges observed: “Once at any future point of time they cease to be so they will obviously go out of the umbrella of 27 per cent reservation and it will be available to the remaining socially and educationally backward class of citizens.”
Therefore, the judges made it clear that they could not bind the State Government to treat Uttarakhand residents as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens for all times to come.
The Court upheld the contention of the petitioners that after having declared citizens of Uttarakhand as SEBCs, the same citizens could not be denied benefits of reservation for admissions to agricultural colleges.