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Reservation not a fundamental right: SC dismisses pleas seeking implementation of OBC quota in Tamil Nadu medical courses

In a ruling in February, the SC had held there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in public jobs and no court can order a state to provide for reservation to SC/STs.

Published: 12th June 2020 10:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2020 10:00 AM   |  A+A-

Qouta, reservation

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday said reservation is not a fundamental right as it refused to admit a batch of petitions seeking the implementation of 50% reservation for other backward classes (OBCs) for state-surrendered seats in the all-India quota for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in Tamil Nadu.

“We appreciate the concern of all the political parties for the welfare of backward classes. But reservation is not a fundamental right,” a three-judge bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao told the lawyers appearing for various parties including the AIADMK, DMK, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, CPI and CPI(M).All withdrew their petitions with a liberty to approach the Madras High Court.

In a ruling in February, the SC had held there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in public jobs and no court can order a state to provide for reservation to SC/STs.

The petitions were filed by the CPI, DMK and some of its leaders asking for 50% OBC reservation in seats surrendered by Tamil Nadu in the All India quota for under graduate, post graduate medical and dental courses in 2020-21.

They said that in Tamil Nadu, there is 69% reservation for OBCs, SC and ST and within this, OBC reservations are about 50%.The petitions said 50% of OBC candidates must get admissions in the medical colleges out of seats surrendered under the all India quota, except for central government institutions.

“Denial of admissions to OBC candidates is a violation of their fundamental right,” stated the pleas, asking for a stay on the counselling under NEET till the reservation is given.

The bench observed verbally that no case was made out for the petitioners to approach the top court directly under Article 32 — a remedy available under the Indian Constitution if there is violation of a fundamental right.

“Whose fundamental rights are being violated? Article 32 is available only for violation of fundamental rights. We assume you are all interested in fundamental rights of the citizens of Tamil Nadu. But right to reservation is not a fundamental right,” observed the bench.

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