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Supreme Court Rejects Plea For Interim Order For Implementation of 50% OBC Reservation in Medical College Seats in 2020-2021

Radhika Roy
26 Oct 2020 10:14 AM GMT
Supreme Court Rejects Plea For Interim Order For Implementation of 50% OBC Reservation in Medical College Seats in 2020-2021
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The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas filed by State of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK seeking a direction for implementation of 50% quota for Other Backward Classes in the All India Quota for undergraduate, post-graduate medical and dental courses in Tamilnadu for the academic year 2020-2021.A Bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the...

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The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas filed by State of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK seeking a direction for implementation of 50% quota for Other Backward Classes in the All India Quota for undergraduate, post-graduate medical and dental courses in Tamilnadu for the academic year 2020-2021.

A Bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the pleas which challenged the July 27 order of the Madras High Court and submitted that the High Court had not stated that the OBC quota should be implemented in the current academic year itself.
The pleas sought for the interim relief – "Court may provide for provisional reservation for OBCs to seats surrendered by the State of Tamil Nadu to the All India Quota for academic year 2020-21 as the final allocation of seats is imminent".
This Prayer was dismissed by the Court.
Background
The State, aggrieved by the High Court's lack of appreciation regarding the urgency of the issue, had knocked on the doors of the Apex Court on July 2. Claiming that the High Court was wrong to have given in to the representations of the Centre, the State had asked to the Supreme Court to direct the High Court to expeditiously hear and dispose of the matter. It was submitted by the Petitioner that failure to grant the interim reliefs would deny hundreds of seats to deserving OBC candidates, thereby reinforcing their social and educational disadvantage, and further perpetrating mass inequality in the State of Tamil Nadu. Accordingly, on July 13, the Supreme Court had directed the Madras High Court to decide the petitions against the Centre's decision to not grant the quota in 2020-2021. It had been contended by the Centre that it would not be possible to implement the same in the current academic year.
The Madras High Court then held that there were no legal or constitutional impediments to the extension of benefits of reservation to the OBCs in the State-surrendered AIQ seats, but the same would be subject to further directions of the Supreme Court. The contention of the Medical Council of India pertaining to the alleged compromise of merit that would stem from permitting reservation in AIQ was refuted by the High Court which stated that the conduct of the NEET examination diluted this argument as it was designed in a manner to ensure that only those candidates who secured a minimum merit would be allowed. However, no mandamus was passed against the Centre to provide the reservation as the same amounted to a policy decision.

Cannot be interdicted at this stage, says SC

Dismissing the appeal filed by the state, the Supreme Court refused to issue a direction to implement the reservation for OBCs in the All India Quota seats in State-run medical colleges situated in the State of Tamil Nadu.

"The admission to postgraduate courses have been completed and cannot be interdicted at this stage. As admissions to the undergraduate medical courses have already been delayed due to the public health crisis, we do not want to delay the admissions to the under-graduate courses further by giving any direction to implement the reservation for OBCs for this academic year.", the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi said.

The bench noted that presently, the reservation in the All India Quota seats has been provided only in favour of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Physically Disabled candidates and that here is no domicile or residence reservation or preference for the All India Quota seats. It said:

"All candidates belonging to the OBC category shall be eligible for admission to OBC seats in the All India Quota in the State of Tamil Nadu if reservation is implemented. Candidates belonging to the OBC category from States other than the State of Tamil Nadu would not have even indicated that they belonged to OBC category in the application form as they were not aware of any reservation in the All India Quota for OBC candidates. If all the OBC candidates are now informed about the implementation of reservation for OBC candidates, the entire process has to be re-done which would disturb the counselling which is about to commence from 26.10.2020.", the court said.

Dismissing the appeal, the bench observed that the High Court was right in observing that the selection process which has commenced for the current academic year cannot be disturbed.

"The Committee appointed by the Union of India is examining the modalities for implementation of reservation for OBC candidates in the All India Quota. After holding discussions with the State of Tamil Nadu and other States, a final decision will be taken by the Committee which can be implemented from the next academic year i.e. 2021-2022.", it added.

Case: State of Tamil Nadu .vs. Union of India [Civil Appeal No. 3518 of 2020 ]
Coram: Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi
Counsel: Sr. Adv V. Giri, AAG Balaji Srinivasan ,Adv M. Yogesh Kanna, Sr. Adv P. Wilson, Adv R. Nedumaran, ASG Balbir Singh, Adv Gaurav Sharma  

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