SC agrees to hear pleas against Centre's decision for 27 and 10 per cent quota for OBCs, EWS in NEET


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear pleas challenging Centre’s decision to implement 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10 per cent for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category in NEET admissions for medical courses.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli issued notice on the petitions to Centre and Medical Counselling Committee and tagged them with a pending matter.

Senior advocate Arvind P Datar, appearing for petitioner Neil Aurelio Nunes and others, submitted that the decision is against the order of Madras High Court as it also raises question whether there should be horizontal or vertical reservation.

The bench said that it will issue notice and tagged the matter. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for another petitioner Yash Tekwani and others, said that in an earlier verdict it was held by the top court that there will be no reservation in higher degree courses.

The bench told him that it is already issuing notice in connected matter and seeking response from the respondents in two weeks.

Singh said that the decision of Centre will have its impact on National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

Tekwani and others have said in the plea that they are doctors who possess a recognised degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of surgery (MBBS) awarded by a university or institute in India and registered with the State Medical Council.

The petition filed through advocate Tanvi Dubey said that the petitioners have obtained provisional/permanent registration and are aspirants for NEET-PG 2021, which is proposed to be conducted on September 11.

“That the Petitioners have filed the present writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India to bring to the notice of this Court the grave and serious problems faced by thousands of students across the country in view of notice dated July 29, issued by the Respondent No. 1 (Medical Counselling Committee (MCC)),” the plea said.

The plea said that the Petitioners and similarly affected candidates were shocked to note that the MCC vide the impugned notice had resolved to implement 27 per cent OBC reservation and 10 per cent EWS reservation in 15 per cent UG and 50 per cent PG All India Quota seats (MBBS/BDS and MD/MS/MDS) with effect from the current academic session 2021-22.

The petitioners sought quashing of the notice dated July 29, issued by the MCC providing for implementation of prescribed reservation criteria with effect from the current academic session 2021-22.

They have also sought direction to MCC to proceed with the NEET-PG 2021 sans reservation policy provided under the impugned notice for this academic year.

They said that as per the reservation policy, the overall reservation in 15 per cent UG and 50 per cent PG All India Quota seats would be–SC – 15 per cent, ST – 7.

5 per cent, OBC- (non-creamy layer) as per the Central OBC list-27 per cent, Economically Weaker Section- as per Central Government norms- 10 per cent and persons with disability-5 per cent horizontal reservation as per norms.

On July 29, the Centre has decided to provide 27 percent reservation for OBCs and 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) Scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses (MBBS / MD / MS / Diploma / BDS /MDS).

The notice by MCC was also issued on July 29, providing for implementation of 27 per cent OBC reservation and 10 per cent EWS reservation in 15 per cent UG and 50 per cent PG All India Quota seats (MBBS/BDS and MD/MS/MDS) with effect from the current academic session 2021-22.

“It is further most humbly submitted that the application of reservation for the academic year 2021-22 is arbitrary and unjustified,” the petitioner said, adding that the selection process which has commenced for the current academic year cannot be disturbed, at a belated stage.

“It is most humbly submitted that the registration process for registration into NEET-PG commenced from February 23, 2021 and the registration window for NEET PG-2021 closed on March 15, 2021. That NEET PG-2021 was earlier scheduled to be organised on April 18, 2021 and was postponed due to the upsurge in the COVID-19 cases and therefore the decision to implement the reservation policy for this academic year is sheer afterthought,” they said.

They submitted that July 13 notice also provides for the number of candidates who have already registered for NEET-PG-2021 and the change in reservation after registration for the exam will cause grave injustice to the Petitioners and similarly placed students, who were not aware about the current reservation policy, while registering for the exam.