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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Centre’s offer of 27 pc reservation in AIQ not acceptable, DMK tells Madras HC

Senior counsel P Wilson said the state government would not accept anything short of the quantum of 50 per cent, if not 69 per cent, as recommended by the first bench of the High Court in its order passed in July last year.

By: PTI | Chennai |
Updated: August 4, 2021 1:12:45 pm
Madras High CourtWilson contended that the offer of 27 per cent runs against the July 2020 orders of the High Court and of the Supreme Court, which had confirmed it in October the same year. (File)

The reservation of 27 per cent offered by the Centre for admission of students against the surrendered seats under the All India Quota (AIQ) in UG medical courses in the state from the current academic year is not acceptable, the DMK told the Madras High Court on Tuesday.

Senior counsel P Wilson made the submission during a hearing on DMK’s contempt petition against the Centre on the matter.

When the application came up before the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu on Tuesday, Wilson said the state government would not accept anything short of the quantum of 50 per cent, if not 69 per cent, as recommended by the first bench of the High Court in its order passed in July last year.

Originally, while passing orders on a batch of PIL petitions from DMK and its allies, the bench, headed by then Chief Justice A P Sahi, had, among other things, suggested constitution of a committee for providing the terms of implementation of the reservation as claimed by the petitioners.

It added that the panel can also fix the percentage of reservation.

Contending that this order was not fully complied with, the DMK preferred the present contempt application.

When it came up on July 19, the present bench, led by Chief Justice Banerjee, granted a week’s time to the Centre to indicate its stand on the mode and manner of implementation of the OBC reservation quota in terms of the 1993 State Act in respect of admission of students under the AIQ seats in the state, pertaining to medical and dental colleges from 2021-22.

As per the 1993 State Act, reservation for admission of students in Tamil Nadu was 69 per cent, which was fixed based on the enforcement of the TN Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services).

The bench had last week granted another week’s time to the Centre to make known its stand. The Central government later announced the 27 per cent offer.

Wilson contended that the offer of 27 per cent runs against the July 2020 orders of the High Court and of the Supreme Court, which had confirmed it in October the same year.

This order stipulated 50 per cent reservation for OBC under the AIQ.

Additional Solicitor General R Sankaranarayanan told the judges that the total reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent and therefore, granting 50 per cent to OBC alone would go against the order of the Supreme Court in the Marathas case.

The bench pointed out that as per the July 29, 2021 order of the central government, 27 per cent is allotted for OBCs, 15 for SCs and 7.5 for STs and 10 for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) people, the total comes to 59.5 per cent.

“Does the 50 per cent include the allotment made to EWS?” the bench asked.

The ASG replied that he would get instructions on whether the 10 per cent for EWS is a communal reservation or not.

The bench, reiterating its earlier stand that the July 20 orders of the High Court and that of the Supreme Court in October 2020 should be fully complied with, made it clear that NEET could not be conducted till then.

The matter was then adjourned till August 9.

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