HC penalizes student for wrongly taking reservation benefit

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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

  • Whether it is the gross income or the taxable income that must be considered for reservation?
  • 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 favored 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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