Madras HC asks Centre to form panel for All-India quota medical seats

The Bench said it was not passing a positive order to provide the reservation only in view of settled law that courts cannot interfere in policy matters of the government
The Madras High Court today directed the Central government to set up a committee with the participation of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Tamil Nadu Health Department and the Medical Council of India (MCI), to provide reservation to Other Backward Class (OBC) students under the All India Quota for medical seats in non-central institutions from the next academic year. 

The first bench of the Madras High Court consisting of Chief Justice A P Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy today delivered a judgement on the pleas submitted by all political parties including the ruling AIADMK, and the Opposition consisting of DMK, PMK and others.

"The policy to provide reservation in All India quota seats is already in place and is legally supported. There is no legal or any constitutional impediment for extending the benefit of reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBCs)," said in the Order.

The Court said the Centre has only proposed to give reservations for OBCs under All-India quota in non-central institutions subject to overall reservations not being over 50 per cent but it has not passed any law. So, a positive direction cannot be issued. The Court said there is no legal or constitutional impediment to provide reservations for OBCs in All India quota medical seats in non-central institutions subject to further directions by the Supreme Court.

The Court also said when the MCI does not oppose reservations in All-India quota medical seats in central institutions, it cannot oppose it in non-central institutions.

It rejected MCI's contention that only the Supreme Court can pass orders on providing reservations for OBCs in All India quota medical seats in non central institutions.

The Court said Centre can pass legislation to provide reservations for OBCs in All India quota medical seats in non central institutions.

The bench ordered for the entire directions to be complied by three months and also observed that it is open to the centre to pass any legislation to provide Other Backward Class reservation. 

Advocate General Vijay Narayan for the state argued that the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations itself says that the reservation of seats in medical colleges is as per laws prevailing in the states and Union Territories.
"This is very significant as the centre is aware that the reservation in Tamil Nadu is 69 per cent in proportion to the population. The Supreme Court itself has said that reservations can exceed 50 per cent if there is quantitative data to show that you need a higher percentage of reservations in the state," he argued.

Senior advocate P Wilson, who appeared for DMK, argued that the OBC community continues to be discriminated by the Central government showing a "big brother attitude" and denying the lawful reservations of the states.

Wilson also contended that the state has so far surrendered 3580 PG seats in the past four years in which 2729 seats were of OBC.

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