Former Union Health Minister and Member of Parliament, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss has moved the Supreme Court seeking implementation of 27% reservation for the persons belonging to the OBC category in Post Graduate Medical Seats, under the All India Quota (AIQ).
The petition, filed through Advocate S. Thananjayan states that the in the last few years, the Government of India has denied reservations to persons belonging to the OBC category, both in PG/UG medical seats under AIQ. Thus, they are denied 3000 seats every year which are transferred to General Category.
On December 30, 1980, the Mandal Commission had concluded that 52% of the country's population comprised OBCs and recommended 27% reservation quota for OBC in government jobs and public universities. Accordingly, a Government Order dated August 8, 1990, was issued whereby the Central Government declared that it would provide 27% reservations to "socially and educationally backward classes" for jobs in central services and public undertaking.
The same has been upheld by the Supreme Court on various occasions, the first time being in 1992, in Indra Sawhney and Others v. Union of India, 1992 Suppl. (3) SCC 217.
Subsequently in Ashoka Kumar Thakur v. Union of India & Ors., (2008) 6 SCC 1, the Top Court held that the Quantum of reservation of 27% of seats to OBC in the educational institutions provided in the Act is "not illegal".
Accordingly, the Petitioner has contended that denial of adequate representation to the persons belonging to the OBC category impinges upon their Fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, Article 15(4) and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The Petitioner has informed that OBCs have been denied 27% reservation in AIQ seats for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in the academic years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.
For instance, he has submitted, in the year 2018-19, only 220 OBC candidates were admitted to postgraduate courses while they had claim over 2,152 seats. Similarly, only 66 OBC students were admitted to the undergraduate course of the 1,096 claimed seats.
During the current admission year 2020-21, the Petitioner stated, OBCs have not been given reservation for the seats pooled from the States.
"Out of 9550 seats under All India Quota for this year 2020, nearly 8800 seats are pooled from the Colleges run by the State Governments. On these 8800 seats, the OBCs are not given any reservation (only zero) and the seats are transferred to the General Category, which is unjustified and unconstitutional," the plea states.
The plea further states that "arbitrary moving of seats belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBC), to the General Category, has violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 15 (4) of the Indian Constitution."
The Petitioner has asserted the Government tries to escape its liability by arguing that the reservation quota for OBCs is different in different states. However, the plea questions that when the reservation in All India Quota seats can be fixed for SCs and STs, why cannot the reservation be made vis à-vis OBCs?
"When the policy of reserving 15%, 7.5% and 10% of seats to SC, ST and ESW is implemented in totality, the OBC reservation alone was not implemented as per norms. This is against the Parliamentary Act to provide reservation to OBCs. The States that give their seats to Central pool will be unable to fulfill their social commitments to OBCs," the plea states.
The Petitioner has also cited a report by the Times of India whereby it is indicated that representation of OBCs is inadequate under central government ministries and statutory bodies also.
"Only 12 per cent of the employees under central government ministries and statutory bodies are members of the Other Backward Classes. The data shows that out of 79,483 posts, employees from the OBCs occupied only 9,040 of them," the plea states.
Accordingly, the Petitioner has sought for a direction to the Central Government to implement the 27% reservation to the OBCs in admission to UG and PG Medical Courses for admissions to educational institutions run by the Government of India and various State Governments and Union Territories within the Union of India, under the All India Quota.
Further, the Petitioner has sought the court to issue directions and guidelines to the Government, in order to improve the implementation of 27% reservation to persons belonging to the OBC category in the above manner.
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