SC refuses to intervene in plea against TN's 69% quota in professional college seats

Asks petitioners, two successful NEET candidates, to either approach Madras HC or file an intervening application in pending matters in the apex court challenging the 69% reservation.

July 17, 2018 06:42 pm | Updated 07:49 pm IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to intervene in a petition filed by two successful NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) candidates from Tamil Nadu that claimed the 69% reservation in professional college seats in the State amounted to "excessive restriction" and discrimination against forward community students.

A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S. Abdul Nazeer gave liberty to petitioners B. Muthuramakrishnan and M. Sathyanarayanan to either approach the Madras High Court or file an intervening application in pending matters in the apex court challenging the 69% reservation.

The students, represented by senior advocate Guru Krishnakumar and advocate B. Sivabalamurugan, argued that the 69% quota was against the fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution that no person should be discriminated against in the name of his or her caste, religion, gender, sex, etc.

The petition said the the apex court capped the reservation at 50%. Consequently, Tamil Nadu passed law enabling 69% reservation. The law was included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Backward Class Commission, which was directed to assess the justifiability of 69% reservation on objective criteria, filed a report in July 2011.

The petition said the report was without any objective criteria and simply confirmed the 69% reservation on the basis of the Amba Shankar Commission report of 1985.

The two students came well within the merit list cut-off mark required for 50% of the total seats available for admission to government medical colleges, it said.

"The conduct of the State of Tamil Nadu having exceeded the quantitative restriction of 50% reservation decided by the Supreme Court... thereby denying meritorious students to get admission to professional college in accordance with the Constitution," it said.

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