Madras HC pulls Centre over medical OBC quota

To not implement the reservation is not a choice for the Union government, court observes
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday observed that the Union government’s attempt to not implement the OBC reservation quota in respect of the All India Quota (AIQ) seats for admission to medical courses in the State appears to be “contumacious”.

“To not implement the reservation is not a choice to the Union government,” the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said and made it clear that the Centre must indicate their considered stand as to the mode and manner of implementation of the OBC quota within a week.

A contempt plea was moved by DMK against the Centre for failing to implement the High Court order dated July 27, 2020 to provide the OBC reservations in admission to UG and PG medical courses from the current academic year (2021-22).

Senior advocate P Wilson contended that despite the clear direction of this court to implement the reservation, the Centre has now taken a stand that it cannot implement the same pending disposal of the Saloni Kumari case before the Supreme Court. The apex court has already made it clear that the Saloni Kumari case has nothing to do with the present case. Despite such clarification, the Centre is refusing to implement the orders of this court, Wilson added.

Recording the submissions, the bench said, “It now appears that the Union government seeks to change track and keep the implementation of the OBC reservation as per the 1993 State Act in suspension till the Saloni Kumari case is decided by the Supreme Court.”

Prima facie, it is completely unacceptable that despite the Centre representing before the Supreme Court that the OBC reservation would be implemented in respect of the AIQ seats in this State in terms of the HC order, the Centre would now not implement the reservation on the specious ruse that the Saloni Kumari matter had first to be decided, the bench said. The court then adjourned the hearing to July 26 for the Centre to file its affidavit. 

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