Case Title: Neil Aurelio Nunes & Ors v Union of India and Ors, Yash Tekwani and Ors v. Medical Counseling Committee and Ors, Madhura Kavishwar and Ors v Union of India and Anr, Apurv Satish Gupta and Anr v Union of India and Ors, Christina Ann Thomas and Ors v Union of India and Ors
The Supreme Court on Monday posted the petitions challenging the validity of criteria of Rs. 8 Lakhs annual income limit as the upper limit for seeking Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation in the All India Quota for NEET admissions.
In this regard the petitioners were listed before the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant. When the matter was called for hearing, Justice DY Chandrachud the presiding judge of the bench said, "We’ll have to post it for hearing now."
Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar while submitting that the NEET Exam 2022 will be conducted somewhere in May and results will thereafter be announced requested the bench to hear the matter soon.
"As exams will be somewhere in May and results will thereafter will be announced. Only EWS matter is involved is there something more filed by the government, please supply it in advance. Pleadings are complete." submitted senior counsel.
Adjourning the matter for April, 2022, Justice DY Chandrachud said, "We'll keep it in April on some Non Miscellaneous Day. We now have to hear the matter and everything is there on law. We're only confined to EWS, OBC we have upheld. Court master will just check if there is some specific date on which it can be held. By the afternoon you'll get the date."
It may be noted that the Top Court on January 7, 2022 had allowed the commencement of counseling process for NEET-PG and NEET-UG for 2021-22 admissions on the basis of the existing 27% quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the All India Quota. The Court upheld the constitutionality of 27% OBC reservation. As regards criteria to determine EWS (Rupees 8 lakhs gross annual income cut-off), the Court allowed the existing criteria to operate for the current admission year so as to not delay the admission process further.
While allowing the same, the Top Court had listed the matter with regards to the criteria determined by the Pandey committee for identifying the EWS prospectively for the future for March, 2022.
The Committee, which was formulated by the Center for revisiting the criteria of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation, had recommended the retention of the annual income criteria of Rupees 8 lakhs but recommended the exclusion of family who has agricultural land of 5 acres and above, irrespective of income. The Committee has further recommended removing the criteria with regards to residential assets. But the Committee recommended that these revisions be applied from the next academic year.