Court rules against EWS reservation in All India Quota medical seats

Madras High Court judges said the reservation ought not to have been provided without the approval of the Supreme Court

The Madras High Court on Tuesday ruled that the Centre ought not to have provided 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) of society in the All India Quota medical seats without obtaining the express approval of the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu held that Centre’s July 29 notification was permissible only with respect to 15% reservation for Scheduled Castes, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes and 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

They also said that horizontal reservation provided to the disabled was also in accordance with law. However, “the additional reservation provided for EWS cannot be permitted except with the approval of the Supreme Court in such regard,” they ordered.

The judges observed that the Supreme Court had already held that overall reservations should not exceed 50% and therefore, the Centre should have obtained the sanction of the top court before implementing 10% reservation for the EWS in the AIQ medical seats.

The orders were passed while closing a contempt of court petition filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) against top bureaucrats. The party had insisted that the Centre must implement 50% reservation for OBCs since the AIQ seats were contributed by State government run medical colleges.

Senior Counsel P. Wilson, representing DMK, had also questioned the authority of the Centre to implement EWS reservation when the party had filed a case and obtained orders only for implementation of OBC reservation. The present contempt too, had been filed only seeking enhanced reservation for OBCs.

While the first Division Bench negatived his arguments with respect to OBC reservation and found 27% for OBCs to be permissible, it agreed with him on the aspect of impermissibility of the EWS reservation.

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