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OBC reservation: no interim order on T.N. plea, says SC

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to pass an interim order in a challenge against a Madras High Court decision to set up a committee to “finalise” OBC reservation in State-surrendered seats for the All India Quota in non-central medical colleges.

“There is no interim order. We will hear this case early”, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, heading a three-judge Bench, said.

The court scheduled the case for hearing on October 13.

It was responding to a submission by senior advocate V. Giri, for Tamil Nadu, for an interim order. He said the High Court had “accepted our contentions to a large extent”.

MCI stand

Advocate Gaurav Sharma, for the Medical Council of India (MCI), said they had nothing to say on the issue of reservation. “It is the government which has to say anything on it”, he submitted. The MCI would abide by the government’s decision.

Senior advocate P. Wilson submitted that a committee had been formed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on September 7. A meeting was held on September 22.

“The Health Minister has said to a question raised in Parliament that State-specific reservation will be followed. I will place it on record”, Mr. Wilson, who is also a DMK Rajya Sabha member, submitted.

Advocate Balaji Srinivasan appeared for the AIADMK and sought an early hearing.

On August 14, the court issued notice to the respondents, including the Centre and the MCI.

The Tamil Nadu government had said the High Court declined to straightaway order the Centre and the MCI to implement 50% reservation for Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Denotified Community in these seats in undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma medical and dental courses in compliance with reservation rules followed in the State for the academic year 2020-21.

The High Court, in its decision on July 27, declined the mandamus “despite finding there is a clear substantive law providing for State-specific reservation formulated by the MCI”.

The petition has said, “Instead, the court set up a committee, when such a committee was unnecessary, consisting of the Directorate General of Health Services, the MCI and the Tamil Nadu government department concerned to 'finalise the manner in which the facilities of OBC reservation are to be provided’.”

‘Self-contradictory’

The State said the High Court was self-contradictory.

“Once the court has determinatively found that the governing law provides for OBC reservation as per Tamil Nadu rules, then the proverbial ‘story’ ends there and the appropriate authorities ought to be directed to apply the law. The committee, therefore, is aimless and entirely redundant”, the State has argued.

It said the High Court had further excluded OBC reservation for the current academic year – despite finding that there was a legal right. This had denied a number of deserving OBC candidates seats in the All India Quota for 2020-2021.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 11:39:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/obc-reservation-no-interim-order-on-tn-plea-says-sc/article32694599.ece

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