NEET 2021: Supreme Court denies relief to SC candidate seeking quota admission in another state
New Delhi: Observing that it would not be possible to cast doubt on consistent benches, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by a female NEET 2021 candidate belonging to the Scheduled Caste category in Haryana, who sought to be recognized as the same category in Maharashtra under Article 341 r/w Article 366 (24).
The student had sought directions upon competent authorities so that she could get admitted to medical courses in Maharashtra's 85% quota from the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes if she gets a place according to her merit in order of merit of Scheduled Castes.
However, the top court bench dismissed the plea and noted, "The field sought to be canvassed in these proceedings is governed by the judgments of the Constitution benches in several decisions, which have been fairly placed at the forefront of the synopsis. Hence, the petition is dismissed."
The medical aspirant had stated in the petition she was born and brought up in Mumbai and there she completed her entire schooling as well. Even though her parents, who are migrants in Mumbai, belong to the scheduled castes community of chamar caste in Haryana, they are not entitled to be recognized as scheduled castes in Maharashtra because of the interpretation of Article 341 of the Constitution given by three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Marri Chandra Shekhar Rao v. Dean, Seth G.S. Medical College, Action Committee on Issue of Caste Certificate to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the State of Maharashtra v. Union of India, and Bir Singh v. Delhi Jal Board.
"Hence this petition is filed by the petition seeking Scheduled Caste recognition in the State of Maharashtra citing that all the above Judgments did not consider the Constitution as a whole and therefore, goes against Articles 15 (4) (5), 17, 19 (d) (e), 19 (5) (6), 32, 35 (a) (ii), 46, 73, 81 (1) (a), 81 (2) (a), 141, 142, 145 (3), 162, 245, 246, 248, 249, 250, 246 (4), 250, 252, 254, 341, 366 (24) of the Constitution for reasons given and grounds taken in the writ petition. That the petitioner is an aspirant of graduate Medical Education and therefore, just appeared the UG – NEET- 2021 wherein she obtained 409 marks and secured 181330 NEET All India Rank and 13541 Category Rank in Scheduled Castes," the plea stated.
"Though the petitioner appeared the UG – NEET – 2021 from the Scheduled Caste category, she will not be eligible for reservation for Scheduled Castes under 85% State quota in the State Maharashtra and that she will also not be eligible for reservation for Scheduled Castes under 85% State quota in the State Haryana because she has done/pursued her class 12th studies (HSSC) from Mumbai, Maharashtra and therefore, she is not entitled to reservation for Scheduled Castes in both the States under State's 85% quota," it had further added.
While considering the plea, the Supreme Court bench took note of all the relevant facts and praising the petitioner's counsel for coming to the point at the very beginning of the petition, the bench noted, "Your petition requires us to say all the Constitution benches, right from Marri Chandra Rao, are wrong. You are not an SC in Maharashtra. It is a hard case because she did her 12th class in Maharashtra, she will not be treated as domicile in Haryana. Otherwise, the place where you will get your entitlement in a reserved seat is in Haryana…We must compliment you because right up in the first para you have disclosed to us that that is why you came to us, that was very fair of you, otherwise we would have to read 20 pages to realise this is the point."
Responding to this, Advocate Nitin Meshram, the counsel for the petitioner submitted, "While interpreting the Constitution in Marri Chandra Rao, the court did not consider the implication of Articles 330 and clause (5) of 332. They have misunderstood comments by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in the constituent assembly. It was with regard to autonomous Districts and not Article 341..."
"In a bench of two, we cannot cast doubt on consistent benches. No reason to place it before a three-judge bench also. There is no reason to cast doubt…it is a very well settled law," Justice Chandrachud was quoted saying by Live Law.
Dismissing the petition, the bench ordered, "The field sought to be canvassed in these proceedings is governed by the judgments of the Constitution benches in several decisions, which have been fairly placed at the forefront of the synopsis. Hence, the petition is dismissed."