27 Percent OBC Reservation for AIQ Medical Admissions : Madras HC verdict OUT
Chennai: Dismissing the contempt plea moved by DMK seeking 50 percent OBC reservation in All India Quota MBBS seats, the Madras High Court today held that implementing 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates may be permitted if the Apex Court approves the same.
However, at the same time, the High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu has expressed its doubts regarding the implementation of 10 percent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the AIQ seats.
In this context, the bench today noted that the EWS quota reservation is not permissible if the Supreme Court doesn't approve it.
Such observations on the part of the High Court have come while announcing its verdict regarding the contempt plea moved by DMK.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that on July 27, 2020, the High Court had ruled that OB's were entitled to reservations in AIQ seats and that it should be implemented from the academic year 2021-22. Since the court orders were not complied with, the DMK moved the present contempt plea this year.
However, the bench also opined today that the Central Government had not been 'willful or deliberate' for delaying the implementation of the Court's earlier order dated July 27, 2020.
Earlier, the Madras High Court had directed the Central government to form a panel comprising state officers to formulate a method to implement OBC reservation in All India Quota medical seats in non-central institutions.
A division bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy had observed that the decisions to be taken by the panel, with respect to the OBC reservation, would not apply to the present academic year but to the next academic year.
Such a committee, comprising representatives from the Centre, state, and erstwhile Medical Council of India should be constituted within three months, the court said while passing the order on a batch of petitions moved by the Tamil Nadu government, DMK, AIADMK, PMK, and other political parties, challenging the Centre's decision of not providing OBC quota in AIQ seats for medical admission.
Contending that this order was not given full effect to, TKS Elangovan of the DMK filed the present contempt petition.
Meanwhile, recently the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government announced the decision of providing 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 10 percent reservation for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme in MBBS, BDS, MD, MS, and MDS admissions.
"Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken a historic and a landmark decision for providing 27 percent reservation for OBCs and 10 percent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) Scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses (MBBS / MD / MS / Diploma / BDS / MDS) from the current academic year 2021-22 onwards," an official statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare mentioned on July 29.
As per the Union Government's decision, the overall reservation in 15 percent under-graduate and 50 percent post-graduate All India Quota seats for medical colleges in the State includes, 15% for Scheduled Castes, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes, 27% for OBC, 10% for EWS, and 5% Horizontal Reservation as per NMC for PwD quota students.
However, during the last hearing of the case, DMK contended that the All India Quota seats should be governed by the same ratio of reservation as indicated in the 1993 Act. This was earlier affirmed by the Madras High Court as well.
The counsel representing the Centre had meanwhile argued before the court that the question of contempt doesn't arise anymore since the Centre has given 27% OBC reservation already. In this context, he also pointed out that the total communal reservation couldn't cross the 50% upper limit and thus the decision taken by the centre in providing 27 percent reservation to OBC, 15 percent to SC and 7.5% to STs was correct and as per the Central policy.
The High Court bench had earlier reserved its order for August 25.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, the Court on Wednesday rejected the contention of DMK that OBC candidates in Tamil Nadu should be eligible for 50% reservation 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.
Further holding that the 27% OBC reservation as provided by the Centre is in accordance with the law, the bench observed
"AIQ seats must be uniform across all States except in States which do not have any medical or dental colleges."
"On the face of it, the provision of additional reservation above 50 percent as permitted by the 103rd Constitutional amendment appears to fall foul of the Indra Sawhney case," further noted the court at this outset. However, the bench avoided making any conclusion in this matter since the Apex court is currently considering the matter.
In this context, the bench also clarified that the Constituent Assembly had envisioned reservation as a concept that would be in force for a limited period of time and ultimately it would be merit which would decide matters of appointment, admission and promotion.