NEET PG Counselling UPDATE: Centre seeks SC hearing for tomorrow
New Delhi: Referring to the urgency regarding the cases related to the EWS/OBC quota in NEET AIQ seats, the Central Government has sought for listing the matter tomorrow.
However, taking note of the fact that the matter concerns a three-judge bench issue, the top court bench comprising of Justice Chandrachud assured the Centre to speak to the Chief Justice for constituting a special bench at the earliest.
"The only thing is that was a three-judge bench matter. Justice Surya Kant is sitting with the Chief Justice and Justice Vikram Nath is in a different bench. I will have a word with the Chief Justice. I will request the Chief Justice if it is possible administratively to constitute a special bench. I will speak with the CJ immediately at the end of work for today," Justice Chandrachud was quoted saying by Live Law.
NEET PG Counselling in the 50 percent AIQ seats was set to commence from October 25, 2021. However, as the OBC and EWS reservation policy that was announced by the Central Government was challenged before the Supreme Court, MCC had postponed the counselling process.
The matter got deferred to January as the Central Government decided to revisit the Rs 8 lakh annual income limit set for determining the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
Meanwhile, protesting against the continuous delay in the NEET PG Counselling process, the doctors under the umbrella of Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) had decided to suspend OPD and emergency services in several Delhi-based hospitals. The strike was finally called off on Friday after a meeting between the members of FORDA and Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police.
FORDA has mentioned that a national meeting with all the RDA representatives will be convened by FORDA on January 6. As the health ministry is supposed to submit the Committee Report to the Supreme Court before January 6, 2022 and will publish the NEET-PG 2021 Counselling schedule following the Court hearing, the association had said.
Meanwhile, recently the Indian Medical Association (IMA) delegation had met the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. Issuing a Press Release regarding the matter, IMA mentioned, "he assured the IMA delegation that MoH is going to submit its report regarding NEET/PG counseling in Honorable Supreme Court before 6th of January 2022 so that counselling can start by 6th January, 2022. He also assured that no FIR/coercive action will be taken against doctors."
As per the latest media report by the Live Law, the Central Government in an affidavit filed on December 31, 2021, has informed the Supreme Court that it has accepted the recommendations of the Committee for Revisiting The Criteria Of The Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) Reservation.
In the affidavit, the Central Government has pointed out that the Expert Committee has recommended for retaining the annual income criteria of Rs 8 lakhs, taking note of the fact that changing the criteria midway would complicate the matter.
However, the committee has also recommended that families having land of 5 acres or above, irrespective of their income should be excluded further adding that these revisions may be applied from the next academic year.
Apart from these, the Expert Committee has further made its recommendations for the removal of criteria regarding residential assets. These revisions in the criteria should be introduced from the next academic year, the Committee has suggested.
Today, the Central Government sought an urgent listing of the case. There is some urgency. If Your Lordships can consider having it tomorrow. I have requested Senior Advocate Arvind Datar (for the petitioners) to be here", Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted before the Apex Court.
The counsel for the petitioners, Advocate Datar also urged the court to hear the matter tomorrow or the day after considering the problems associated with the matter.
However, the matter being a three-judge bench issue, the bench comprising of Justice Chandrachud has assured to speak with the CJI regarding the matter at the earliest, adds Live Law.
"The only thing is that was a three-judge bench matter. Justice Surya Kant is sitting with the Chief Justice and Justice Vikram Nath is in a different bench. I will have a word with the Chief Justice. I will request the Chief Justice if it is possible administratively to constitute a special bench. I will speak with the CJ immediately at the end of work for today," said Justice Chandrachud.
The top court bench has further asked the SG for sharing a copy of the Central Government's report regarding the matter. The matter is likely to be listed for hearing on January 6 otherwise.