Supreme Court rejects Tamil Nadu's plea for 50% OBC quota in medical colleges

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The government, ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK had moved the top court after the centre had said that it was not possible to extend 50% OBC reservation this year.

The Supreme Court on Monday, October 26, dismissed a batch of petitions filed by the Tamil Nadu government and ruling and the main opposition party seeking 50 per cent OBC reservation in the state’s All India Quota seats in state-run medical colleges courses for the 2020-21 academic year.

The government, ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK had moved the top court after the centre had said that it was not possible to extend 50% OBC reservation this year.

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the interim prayer made in the pleas. The state government and the ruling AIADMK party 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 had rejected the state’s plea saying that it would not be practically feasible to implement the 50 per cent quota in the current academic year. According to News Minute, the high court had held that on principle there is no legal or constitutional impediment for extending the benefit of reservation to OBC, 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 AIQ seats would compromise merit and said that the argument gets diluted as NEET examinations are now clearly designed to allow only such candidates to be admitted, who secure a minimum merit.

It had, however, restrained itself from passing a mandamus against the Centre to provide the reservation as it relates to a policy decision.

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.

The parties throughout the hearing had contended that the Central government is only an agent and a counseling authority to fill the seats according to the reservation (with inputs from agencies)

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