NEET PG Counselling: MBBS Doctors move Kerala HC against 27 percent SEBC Reservation
Kochi: Challenging the reservation policy of the State Government increasing the reservation for the socially and economically backward classes (SEBC) in the medical postgraduate courses, a group of doctors has recently moved to the Kerala High Court.
The reservation for SEBC was previously 9% and it has now been increased to 27% by a recent circular. The petitioner doctors, who have appeared in NEET-PG 2021 examination and are eligible for postgraduate courses, have challenged the same and have contended that the revision in the number of seats reserved violated the constitutional norms and caused serious prejudice to the merit of the petitioner doctors, reports Live Law.
Admitting the matter, the Kerala High Court bench comprising of Justice N Nagaresh posted the further hearing on November 29.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, among the 833 PG medical seats, 427 are filled by the Commissioner of Entrance Examination rank list. However, 9% of seats among these State Quota seats remain reserved for the SEBC.
However, issuing a circular on October 20, 2021, the State Government revised the reservation pattern for PG medical courses and enhanced the seats reserved for SEBC to 27% from 2021-2022. This way, the seats which get filled on the basis of merit got reduced to 38%.
Filing the plea before the High Court, the petitioner doctors referred to the fact that the Apex Court while considering the constitutional basis for reservations in postgraduate and super specialty courses on various occasions, had observed that reservations have to be minimal at these levels.
Thus, contending that the State circular violated the spirit and content of the Supreme Court decision, the doctors further referred to the Apex Court judgment in the case of Dr. Preethi Sreevasthava v. State of MP in this context.
In that judgment, the top court had clarified that at the super specialization level reservation would dilute the merit.
The doctors further referred to the 1990 decision of the Central Government providing 27% reservation for the backward classes and submitted that even though the top court in Indra Sawhney case had upheld the reservation, it had also clarified that if the 9% reservation for SEBC was not adequate in PG courses in a State, reasons need to be given for the same. However, before increasing the reserved seats, Kerala Government didn't provide any details regarding the matter.
Contending that the position of Kerala is different as in some specialized disciplines, SEBC candidates are adequately represented as candidates from other communities secure admission under merit quota, the doctors claimed that while increasing the number of reserved seats, the government failed to apply the basic principles of reservation.
Filing the case through Advocates S. Sujin and Nitha N.S, the petitioner doctors prayed for the quashing of the circular and for issuing directions to the respondents to prepare the selection list for admission to the postgraduate courses for 2020-2021without giving importance to the circular in question.