The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the interim prayer of Tamil Nadu and the AIADMK for grant of 50 per cent quota in medical seats surrendered by the state in all-India quota for undergraduate, postgraduate and dental courses for the 2020-21 academic year.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the interim prayer made in the pleas for implementation of 50 per cent quota for the current academic year.
The Tamil Nadu government and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have challenged the Madras High Court order of July 27 on the limited point by which it had cleared the decks for OBC reservation under the All-India Quota (AIQ) medical seats in non-central institutions, and gave the Centre three months’ time to take a decision on the percentage.
The state government and the ruling AIADMK, in their limited point, had sought relief saying that the high court had not specified that the OBC quota should be implemented in the current academic year itself.
The Centre has contended that it would not be practically feasible to implement the 50 per cent quota in the current academic year.
The high court had held that on principle, there was no legal or constitutional impediment for extending the benefit of reservation to OBC in the state-surrendered AIQ seats of the UG and PG medical courses in the state-run medical colleges within Tamil Nadu, subject to any further directions or orders of the Apex Court.
It had disagreed with the contention of the Medical Council of India that permitting reservation in the AIQ seats would compromise merit and said the argument got diluted as the NEET examinations are now clearly designed to allow only such candidates to be admitted, who secure minimum merit.
“Thus, application of any reservation rule, be at the instance of the state-specific law or as per any reservation policy framed by the Central Government for AIQ seats, will not affect merit,” the high court had said.
It had, however, restrained itself from passing a mandamus against the Centre to provide the reservation as it relates to a policy decision.
On July 13, the top court had asked the Madras High Court to decide the pleas, including one filed by Tamil Nadu government, against the Centre’s decision not to grant 50 per cent quota to OBCs in the medical seats surrendered by the state in all-India quota for undergraduate, postgraduate and dental courses in 2020-21.
The state government had moved the Supreme Court on July 2 seeking a direction to the high court to expeditiously decide its plea. The state government and various political parties have challenged the Centre’s decision not to grant 50 per cent reservation to OBCs as per the Tamil Nadu law.
Some of the petitioners, in their interim prayers before the High Court, had sought to stall the ongoing admissions for PG medical courses. The pleas had alleged that the Centre also did not follow its own policy of 27 per cent reserved seats for OBCs under the 2006 Act.