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Monday, October 18, 2021

NEET-All India Quota: Top court sets aside Madras High Court order on EWS quota

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagaratna said it was not setting aside the particular direction on merits but for the reason that it was outside the scope of the contempt jurisdiction.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 25, 2021 7:31:48 am
The Supreme Court of India. (Express)

SUPREME COURT on Friday set aside a part of the Madras High Court order, which said reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the NEET-All India Quota cannot be permitted without approval of the top court, stating that the court which said so in a contempt plea had “transgressed the boundaries of contempt jurisdiction”.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagaratna said it was not setting aside the particular direction on merits but for the reason that it was outside the scope of the contempt jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court said the specific direction in the August 25 HC judgment “was unnecessary for the purpose of contempt plea”. “We, therefore hold that direction issued… is alien to the exercise of contempt jurisdiction,” it said.

The HC, which was considering a petition filed by Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK — seeking contempt proceedings against the Centre for allegedly not following a July 2020 order — cited the 50 per cent quota cap to rule that allowing the 10 per cent EWS quota will take the total reservation beyond 50 per cent. “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,” it said.

Setting this aside, the top court said the HC having concluded that no contempt was made out, had gone into a wider spectrum which it should not have. “We are of the view that HC has transgressed the limitations of contempt jurisdiction by entering into areas which was alien to the issues raised of compliance with earlier order,” it bench.

The top court was hearing a plea by the Centre against the HC direction.

The SC, which also took up petitions that challenged the July 29 central notification allowing 27 per cent OBC quota and 10 per cent EWS quota in the All India Quota, said it will go into the merits of the issue while hearing these petitions. Issuing notice on the petitions, it fixed October 7 for hearing them.

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