On Sunday (19th of September 2021), the Supreme Court of India decided to hear on Monday the 20th of September 2021 a special leave petition filed by Centre challenging Madras High Court's order in which the High Court while upholding the validity of Centre's notification dated July 29, 2021, of implementing 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes in All India Quota seats of medical colleges had observed that 10% reservation provided to Economically Weaker Section ("EWS") could be permitted only subject to Top Court's approval.
The petition is listed along two other writ petitions filed by doctors challenging the Centre's decision to bring EWS and OBC reservation in All India Quota (AIQ).
The Madras High Court bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu on August 25 in a contempt plea filed by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) over the delay in implementing OBC reservations for AIQ seats of medical colleges in the State for the academic year 2021-2022.
Despite the High Court's earlier decision directing such an implementation had held that,
“Centre's notification dated July 29, 2021 implementing 27 percent reservation for Other backward Classes (OBC) candidates in All India Quota (AIQ) seats of medical colleges in Tamil Nadu may be permissible subject to the Supreme Court's formal approval of the same."
The matter will be heard by a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna.
The Bench held that there had been no 'wilful or deliberate' violation on the part of the Central government in implementing the High Court's earlier decision dated July 27, 2020 on this issue.
It was also held by the Court that the reservation provided by the Centre for OBC, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Persons with Disabilities in its July 29 notification pertaining to reservation in AIQ seats appears to be in accordance with law. "AIQ seats must be uniform across all States except in States which do not have any medical or dental colleges", the Bench opined further.
The Bench had observed that 'on the face of it,
the provision of additional reservation above 50 percent as permitted by the 103rd Constitutional amendment appeared to fall foul of the Indra Sawhne case' but had refused to make any conclusive pronouncement on this issue since its validity was currently pending reservation before the Supreme court’s Constitution Bench.
The contention of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) that OBC candidates must be eligible for 50 percent reservation as envisaged under the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Schedule Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 was also rejected by the Court.
Case Title: Union of India v. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Ors.