1. The petitioner, Rajesh Aggarwal, who failed to secure admission to the M. B. B. S. / B. D. S. in the Medical College, Rohtak, has impugned the reservation of 20 seats for socially, educationally and economically weaker sections of the Society other than the scheduled castes / scheduled tribes and backward classes and has sought a mandamus directing the respondents to pool the said 20 seats with general category seats and consider the petitioner's name for admission in accordance with the merit list prepared of the general category candidates.
2. The petitioner's contention is that the said reservation is violative of Arts. 14 and 15 of the Constitution. It was asserted that Art. 15(4) of the Constitution permits exception of the basis of social and educational backwardness and that too for those who happened to be both socially and educationally backward, that is, any such person had to satisfy the combined criteria of social and educational backwardness; that no exception was envisaged on the ground of economic backwardness; and that since the respondent University has taken economic backwardness also into consideration, so the classification in question is violative of Art. 15 and is not covered by clause (4) thereof.
3. The assertion of the petitioner that the authorities in this case have envisaged the judging of backwardness individually on the basis of social, educational and economic backwardness and not on the basis of the social, educational and economic backwardness collectively is factually incorrect. The contention is based on the unamended provisions of the prospectus referred to in the writ petition which had been duly amended and clarified well before the admission and interviews, as averred in the written statement filed on behalf of the respondent University, wherein it is clearly mentioned that the criteria for backwardness of a candidate was social, educational and economic backwardness taken together.
4. As regards, the adding up of economic factor as an additional condition for judging the backwardness, it may be observed that in view of the fact that all the three circumstances of backwardness, namely, social, educational and economic, were to be collectively taken into consideration for considering a candidate as backward, the adding of economic backwardness to the educational and social backwardness--the two circumstances which the constitutional provision of Art. 15(4) requires to be taken into consideration for judging the backwardness--did not expand the scope of exception envisaged by clause (4) of Art. 15 of the Constitution, rather it constricted the scope of the said exception, in that now as a result off the additional condition of economic backwardness, a given person even if he is socially and educationally backward, he shall not be deemed to be a backward person unless he is additionally economically backward also. A person may be socially and educationally backward, but otherwise he may be very rich. The additional factor of economic backwardness envisaged by the impugned rule thus, instead of liberalising the exception envisaged by clause (4) of Art. 15, rather put a constraint thereon, and therefore, in no manner it can be said that it had worked to the disadvantage of the general category candidates.
5. It was, however, argued on behalf of the petitioner that the prospectus revealed that seven seats were reserved for backward classes. Once seven seats came to be reserved for backward classes, then no further reservation of twenty seats could be done for that very class.
6. Here again, the contention is unsustainable, Under the Constitution, a given case itself could be declared to be falling in the category of backward class in view of its known social and educational backwardness, which, it is the admitted case of both the parties, had been done by the Government of India and in this regard reference was made to the provisions of Article 340 of the Constitution.
7. Clause (4) of Art. 15 of the Constitution indicates an exception in the case of inter alia, socially and educationally backward persons. So to adjudge the backwardness of a person or class of persons, the guiding circumstance is the social and educational backwardness of that person or class of persons. It may be open to adjudge an entire caste as backward class as a result of known social and educational backwardness of that caste, but the State Government is not prohibited from declaring other persons or class of persons as backward on the basis of the criteria mentioned in clause (4) of Art. 15 of the Constitution. Therefore, the persons, for whom twenty seats had been reserved, could be considered to be backward and the University has, therefore, rightly considered them to be backward. So we have two categories of persons who are backward; (1) who are backward because their caste is declared to be backward in its entirety, and (2) who had been declared backward as a result of their social, educational and economic backwardness.
8. Once it is held that the given category of persons were rightly considered backward, then the next question that falls for consideration is as to whether it was open to the University to bifurcate the seats between those, whose entire caste was declared backward in its entirety, and those, who were declared backward on the basis of their social, educational and economic backwardness.
9. In our opinion, the University could do so. In any case it would not affect those who do not fall in the category of backward class. The petitioner herein is a non-backward class candidates.
10. The result of the above discussion is that there came to be reserved twenty-seven seats for the backward classes. It is nobody's case that legally this could not have been done by the University, because the total reservation is roughly fifty per cent, whereas their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Dr. Pardeep Jain v. U.O.I. AIR 1984 SC 1420 have considered reservation for admission even up to seventy per cent as within the legal limits.
11. For the reasons mentioned above, we find no merit in this writ petition and dismiss the same in limine.
12. Writ Petition dismissed.