CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday said, without the Supreme Court’s approval, it is “impermissible” to implement the 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) within the All India Quota (AIQ) for undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma admissions to medical and dental courses.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu passed the order on a contempt petition moved by the DMK against the Centre for its failure to comply with a HC order from last year on implementing OBC reservation within the AIQ for medical admissions. While the court disposed of the contempt petition, it ruled on the Centre’s July 29, 2021 order notifying a 27 per cent OBC quota and 10 per cent EWS quota within the AIQ.
The court said the order was in accordance with the law with regard to the quotas for SCs, STs and OBC categories and the horizontal reservation for persons with disabilities. However, “the additional reservation provided for EWS... cannot be permitted, except with the approval of the SC in such regard,” the court said. “...To such extent, the reservation as indicated in the notification of July 29 has to be regarded impermissible till such approval is obtained,” the court ruled.
Later speaking to Express on this, Rajya Sabha MP P Wilson, who appeared for the DMK in the case, said, “As a result of the order, EWS quota cannot be implemented across the country for medical admissions. They (Centre) will have to approach the SC if they want to implement it.”
Earlier, the court, considering the DMK’s plea that 50 percent OBC quota, as followed in TN, must be implemented in the seats surrendered by the State to the AIQ, said reservation in AIQ seats across States must be uniform. “Logically, if the AIQ seats are thrown open to candidates across the country, there cannot be reservation to one extent in one State and another extent in another State.”
Disposing of the ruling party’s contempt petition, the Bench said the Centre had complied with the HC order from July 2020 to provide the OBC quota in the AIQ and set up a committee. The DMK had moved a contempt petition before the HC in November 2020, after the notification of the NEET MDS bulletin without the OBC quota.Days before the Centre’s July 29 notification, it had been pulled up by both the HC and the SC for failing to comply with the Madras High Court’s order on the matter.