The right to reservation is not a fundamental one, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.
The court said this as it declined to entertain a clutch of petitions by political parties from Tamil Nadu seeking direction to the Centre to implement 50 per cent OBC quota in seats surrendered by the state in the all-India quota for undergraduate and post-graduate medical and dental courses for 2020-21.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S Ravindra Bhat told petitioners DMK, AIADMK, CPI(M), CPI, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and political leaders Vaiko and Anubmani Ramadoss to approach the Madras High Court. Later, it allowed them to withdraw the petitions with liberty to move the High Court.
During the hearing, the bench questioned why a writ petition under Article 32 had been filed and pointed out that it can be done only in case of violation of fundamental rights. It sought to know whose fundamental rights had been violated in the case.
Senior advocate P Wilson, appearing for DMK, said the violation is that of a law prevalent in Tamil Nadu not being implemented. Justice Rao, however, said: “You should withdraw it and go before (Madras) High Court. You are only interested in 50 per cent reservation in Tamil Nadu.”
The bench took note of the various political parties coming together on the issue. “All political parties in this matter have come together on the same platform, something unusual in Tamil Nadu NEET reservation,” asked Justice Rao.
“We appreciate all the political parties upholding interests”, he added, but made it clear that the bench does not intend to consider the petitions. “The right to reservation is not a fundamental right,” he said.
The petitions challenged the Centre’s decision not to grant 50 per cent reservation to OBC candidates in medical seats surrendered by Tamil Nadu in all-India quota.