The Centre on Monday assured the Supreme Court that counselling for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Post Graduate medical courses for 2021 will not begin till the court decides a pending matter concerning reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the NEET All India Quota (AIQ).
Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj conveyed this to a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, which told him “Counselling will not start till we decide on the issue. Mr Nataraj, we are taking your word for it.”
The petitioners in the matter have sought quashing of the July 29 notification announcing 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 10 per cent reservation for EWS in the AIQ starting 2021-22 academic session.
Hearing the pending matter last week, the court had asked the Centre to explain what exercise was undertaken by it to fix annual income eligibility of Rs 8 lakh for the EWS category.
On Monday, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar informed the bench that the dates for counselling had been fixed. “They have issued a complete schedule starting from (October) 24 and ending on the 29th. That would mean everything is over,” he told the court.
ASG Nataraj explained that “this notice that you have got hold of was meant for just the colleges for the purpose of verification of seats”.
But Datar pointed out that he had got the information from the Directorate General of Health Services.
Intervening, the bench told the ASG that it will take his word that the counselling will not start until the court decides the petitions.
Natraraj responded that the court can do so and added, “Mr Datar can directly contact me if there is any difficulty.”
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