The Supreme Court on July 13 asked Madras High Court to decide on merits, the petition against the Centre's decision not to grant 50 percent quota to OBCs in medical seats surrendered by the state in all India quota in Tamil Nadu.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said the Saloni Kumari case pending with it regarding the grant of 27 percent OBC quota in terms of a Central Act cannot act as a hindrance for Madras High Court in deciding on the grant of 50 percent quota for OBC in Tamil Nadu based on state law. The bench asked the High Court of Madras to decide the matter on merits while elucidating that Saloni Kumari pendency will have no bearing on specific cases pending before it.
The Supreme Court was hearing a batch of plea including of Tamil Nadu government against non-implementation of 50 percent reservation for students belonging to the OBC category in admission to seats surrendered by the state to the AIQ in medical and dental courses. In a hearing conducted via video link, the top court said, "All the contention raised in petitions (before it) should be decided by the High Court" and requested the High Court to deal with the case. Earlier, the state government had moved the Supreme Court on July 2 seeking a direction to the High Court to expeditiously decide its plea challenging the Centre's decision not to grant 50 percent quota to OBCs in medical seats surrendered by the state in all India quota for UG, PG and dental courses in 2020-21 The Tamil Nadu government had approached the Supreme Court on July 2 seeking a direction to the High Court to expeditiously decide its plea challenging the Centre's decision not to grant 50 percent quota to OBCs in medical seats surrendered by the state in all India quota for UG, PG and dental courses in 2020-21. The Tamil Nadu government, in its plea, mentioned that the process of allocating seats is currently ongoing after the second round of the counseling took place and urged that there is a need to provide provisional reservation for the concerned academic year urgently. “The allocation of medical seats for the academic year 2020-2021 is already underway and on June 16, 2020, the results for the second round of the counseling were announced. The candidates are in the process of reporting to the allotted Institute/College,” the plea said. It asserted that if the writ petition is not allowed it would deny hundreds of seats to deserving OBC candidates, thereby further reinforcing their social and educational disadvantage, and further perpetrating mass inequality in the State of Tamil Nadu. Earlier in June, the Tamil Nadu government had approached the apex court with the same grievance, but the top court asked it to approach the Madras High Court instead. Based on the representations made by the Union Health Ministry, Human Resource Development Ministry, and the Director-General of Health Services, the High Court had adjourned the matter till July 9. The Tamil Nadu government affronted by the High Court’s lack of appreciation regarding the urgency of the issue had again approached the apex court. “…the High Court has erroneously acceded to representations made by the respondents and unjustifiably kept in the Petitioner’s writ petition in abeyance till this Court issues orders in an ostensibly identical matter…,” state government plea in the supreme court said. 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 percent reserved seats for OBCs under the 2006 Act.