27% OBC Reservation in All India Quota Seats in Tamil Nadu Medical Colleges Permissible, 10% EWS Reservation Subject to Apex Court Approval: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court bench consisting of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu, on Wednesday, 25 August, 2021 while deciding upon the contempt proceedings against Central Government brought through a petition by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), held the 27% reservation offered by the Centre through its recent notification to Other Backward Castes (OBC) candidates for admission in Central Medical Colleges under All India Quota (AIQ) permissible. The court dropped the contempt proceedings brought by DMK alleging it to be a deliberative and wilful violation of 2020 ruling of the High Court ruling.  The court upheld the 27% OBC reservation as permissible subject to apex court’s approval.

The bench further added that the in- principal approval to provide such reservation to OBC candidates under All India Quota in medical admissions in all the states is apparent from its order dated October 26, 2020. However, the court was doubtful with regards to the validity to extend 10% reservation for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) in All India Quota Seats and held that the same would not be permissible without apex court’s approval.

The petitioner DMK contended that the 27% reservation proposed to be implemented by the Centre in All India Quota Seats is unacceptable and instead of that 50% reservation envisaged under Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Education Institutes and of appointments or posts in services under the state) Act, 1993 to be availed to OBCs within State.

The court rejecting such plea of the state government for more reservation, observed the reservation of All India Quota seats at the UG, PG, Diploma medical and Dental courses across the states should be uniform. To support its stand in rejecting states plea for reservation to exceed beyond 50%, the court cited apex court judgement in Indra Sawhney case laying down that quota could not exceed such limit except in exceptional circumstances.

Closing the petition, the court observed that as committee has been formed in line with orders of the First Bench of Madras HC dated July, 2020 and given its opinion and the centre had acted on its basis, no such case of deliberative and wilful violation could be made out.

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