The Supreme Court on Monday observed that it shall consider the issue of whether reservations viz. the Maratha Community as per the Socially & Educationally Backward Classes Act shall apply in Undergraduate medical Courses on September 1.
"Admissions to undergraduate medical courses without applying reservation as per the impugned legislation will be considered at the next date of hearing"
A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta & S. Ravindra Bhat adjourned the plea(s) challenging a 2019 Bombay High Court judgment which upheld the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act 2019 to extend reservations to the Maratha community, while taking note of the Maharastra Government's submission that it shall not make regular appointments in Public posts till September 15, except in government departments relating to public health while relying on a Government Resolution dated May 4, 2020.
Court also observed that it was "not inclined to interfere" with admissions in PG Medical colleges as they were at the final stage.
In light of this, the Court adjourned the plea(s) to September 1.
The key issue in the case pertains to whether the State has power to exceed 50 per cent reservation, already set by the Indira Sawhney Judgement as with the percentage of reservation for seats belonging to the Maratha Community standing at 12%, the seats in the State now stand at 70% reservation.
Even though, the Top Court was to commence day-to-day hearings in the SLP(s) which have challenged the 2018 Bombay High Court judgment, the matters were adjourned with the State Government undertaking not to make any regular appointments in the interim.
"As the State Government undertakes not to make any regular appointments in terms of the GR dated 04.05.2020 till 15.09.2020, the matters can be listed for hearing after four weeks by which time the situation caused due to the Pandemic may improve"
The petitioners opposed the adjournment contending that the State Government must "at least" undertake to not follow reservations in UG medical admissions in terms of the impugned legislation.
"Mr. Shyam Divan, learned senior counsel appearing for the medical students made a fervent plea that the matters should not be adjourned, especially taking into account the fact that medical students of the general category would lose an academic year as the last date for admissions to the Post Graduate Medical Courses is 31.07.2020"
Senior Advocate Arvind Datar submitted that a statement was made by the State Government that 72,000 posts will be filled up. To this, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for State of Maharashtra stated that the same shall not be done till September 15.
On July 15, the Supreme Court had observed that there will be a day-to-day hearing from July 27 onwards in the pleas.