Challenging the NEET All India Quota of 27% OBC and 10% EWS reservations following Madras HC’s Judgement: Supreme Court

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a notice in a writ suit challenging the Central Government’s intention to adopt a 27 per cent OBC and 10% EWS reservation in the All India Quota category of NEET medical admissions. The suit, which also seeks to dismiss the notification dated July 29, 2021, was served on a bench consisting of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath, and Hima Kohli. The appeal also asked for a delay on the notification’s impact and operation, as well as instructions to form an expert committee to look into the modalities of the current reservation scheme. On July 29, 2021, the Indian government decided to grant a 27 per cent quota in the All India Quota Scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate students for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS).

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for petitioners in the case Neil Aurelio Nunes and Ors v. Union of India and Ors, argued that the policy violated a Madras High Court ruling.

The petition stated that the overall reservation for 15% UG and 50% PG All India Quota seats would result in the unconstitutional violation of doctors’ fundamental rights protected by the Indian Constitution.

Dubey Law Associates represented the petitioners, and Advocate on Record Charu Mathur filed the writ. The Madras High Court has ruled that the EWS reservation in NEET AIQ may only be enforced with the Supreme Court’s assent. The Court stated,

“The object of any judicial exercise is ultimately to reach the benefit of the decision to those who are entitled thereto. It is true that contempt being a quasi-criminal jurisdiction, if an order is capable of two meanings and the conduct of the alleged contemnors seems to be guided by either, the fact that the other meaning appeals to the Court cannot prompt the Court to hold the persons in contempt. Equally, the contempt jurisdiction is an equitable mode of execution and this Court cannot leave the issue unresolved merely by saying that no contempt has been committed. A judgment has been rendered by this Court and such judgment has to be interpreted to ensure that it is implemented, subject to any order of the Supreme Court in such regard. “

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