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Centre's Proposal To Reserve 27 Percent Seats For OBC Candidates In AIQ Seats In Medical Colleges Not Acceptable: DMK Tells Madras High Court

Aaratrika Bhaumik
4 Aug 2021 8:33 AM GMT
Centres Proposal To Reserve 27 Percent Seats For OBC Candidates In AIQ Seats In Medical Colleges Not Acceptable: DMK Tells Madras High Court
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The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) submitted before the Madras High Court on Tuesday that the Centre's proposal of implementing 27 percent reservation for Other backward Classes (OBC) candidates in All India Quota (AIQ) seats of medical colleges in Tamil Nadu for the current academic year was not acceptable. Instead, the DMK argued that the OBC candidates must be eligible for...

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) submitted before the Madras High Court on Tuesday that the Centre's proposal of implementing 27 percent reservation for Other backward Classes (OBC) candidates in All India Quota (AIQ) seats of medical colleges in Tamil Nadu for the current academic year was not acceptable. Instead, the DMK argued that the OBC candidates must be eligible for 50 percent reservation as envisaged under the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 (1993 Act) and as previously affirmed by the Court vide its earlier decision dated July 27, 2020.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu was adjudicating upon a contempt plea filed by the DMK over the delay in implementing OBC reservations for AIQ seats of medical colleges in the State for the academic year 2021-2022.

The High Court in its earlier July 27, 2020 decision had directed the Central Government to form a Committee to decide on the manner in which reservation for OBC candidates in State surrendered AIQ medical seats could be implemented. Additionally, the Supreme Court on October 26, 2020 had made similar observations wherein it was opined,

"It is no doubt true that the High Court accepted the submissions of the Appellants that the 1993 Act can be made applicable to All India Quota seats"

On Tuesday, the Centre apprised the Court that the implementation of reservation in 15 percent undergraduate and 50 percent post graduate AIQ seats for medical colleges has been proposed to be as follows,

(i) Schedule Castes - 15%

(ii) Scheduled Tribes - 7.5%

(iii) OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) as per the Central OBC list - 27%

(iv) EWS - as per Central Government norms - 10%

(v) PwD - 5% Horizontal Reservation as per NMC norms

Further, the Centre argued that the High Court in its July 2020 decision had also noted that AIQ seats would constitute a separate class and thus would not be governed by the principle of domicile. That is why the High Court had ordered the constitution of the committee to ascertain the extent of reservation that would be desirable in AIQ seats, the Centre contended.

Rejecting such a contention of the Centre, the Court observed,

"Prima facie, such submission militates against the purpose indicated in both the High Court order and the Supreme Court order for constituting the Committee. Both orders indicated that the Committee would work out the modalities of implementation of the reservation for OBC candidates to All India Quota seats in this State. If it is a question of implementation, the Committee was not tasked with the duty of ascertaining the extent of reservation or the inter se allocation thereof between groups."

However, the Court acknowledged that there are several paragraphs in the judgement of the High Court which enumerates the need to strike a balance when it comes to reservation in AIQ seats despite ruling that the 1993 Act would be applicable.

As a result, the Court noted that such a 'balance has been struck' by the Committee by indicating two possible alternatives- implementation of State specific reservation or implementation of 27 percent reservation. Accordingly, the Central government has adopted the second option, strictly in terms of the recommendations of the Committee, the Court observed.

Thus, acknowledging that two interpretations of the Court's order was possible the Bench opined,

"The object of any judicial exercise is ultimately to reach the benefit of the decision to those who are entitled thereto. It is true that contempt being a quasi-criminal jurisdiction, if an order is capable of two meanings and the conduct of the alleged contemnors seems to be guided by either, the fact that the other meaning appeals to the court cannot prompt the court to hold the persons in contempt"

However, the Court declined to record a final decision in this matter and accordingly adjourned the matter till August 9 on the Centre's request by observing, 

"The contempt jurisdiction is an equitable mode of execution and this court cannot leave the issue unresolved merely by saying that no contempt has been committed. A judgment has been rendered by this court and such judgment has to be interpreted to ensure that it is implemented, subject to any order of the Supreme Court in such regard. It does not appear that even the petitioner cares too much for the alleged contemnors being hauled up as long as the order of this court of July 27, 2020 is implemented in letter and spirit"

Case Title: DMK v. Rajesh Bhushan

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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