The Madras High Court on Wednesday said that the Centre’s decision to provide 10% reservation to economically weaker sections in the All-India Quota scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses would require the Supreme Court’s permission, Live Law reported.
The Centre had in July announced a 27% quota for other backward classes and 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections under the All-India Quota scheme.
“The notification of July 29, 2021 issued by the Union as a consequence of the order dated July 27, 2020, appears to be in order insofar as it provides for reservation for Scheduled castes, Scheduled tribes and OBC categories,” the High Court said, according to PTI.
It added: “The additional reservation provided for economically weaker sections in the notification of July 29, 2021 cannot be permitted, except with the approval of the Supreme Court in such regard.”
The court passed the order while closing the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s contempt petition against the Centre, according to The Hindu. Tamil Nadu’s ruling party had demanded that the Centre provide 50% reservation to Other Backward Classes.
In July 2020, the High Court had ordered that reservation be given to OBCs from the 2021-’22 academic year, the Hindustan Times reported. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam claimed that the Centre did not adhere to this order and filed a contempt petition against it.
On Wednesday, the High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu rejected the DMK’s argument that OBCs were entitled to 50% reservation, Live Law reported.
“AIQ [All-India Quota] seats must be uniform across all states except in states which do not have any medical or dental colleges.” the judges said.
The Madras High Court also observed that reservation, as envisioned by those who framed the Constitution, may have been “turned on its head by repeated amendments and the veritable reinvigoration of the caste system”, according to Bar and Bench.
“Rather than the caste system being wiped away, the present trend seems to perpetuate it by endlessly extending a measure that was to remain only for a short duration to cover the infancy and, possibly, the adolescence of the Republic,” the court added. “Though the life of a nation-state may not be relatable to the human process of aging, but at over-70, it ought, probably, to be more mature.”