Pendency of case in Supreme Court cannot be a ground to deny reservations for OBCs, DMK tells HC

The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered notice to the Centre on a batch of cases filed by a host of political parties seeking 50% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in medical and dental seats surrendered by the State government to the All India quota.

Justices R. Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy were initially inclined to order notice to the Centre returnable by two weeks. However, when senior counsel P. Wilson for DMK, insisted on a short date considering the urgency, the judges adjourned all the cases to Monday next.

The cases filed by Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), DMK, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Anbumani Ramadoss of Pattali Makkal Katchi were listed for admission on Monday. Senior counsel AR.L. Sundaresan argued the case on behalf of AIADMK.

He contended the social object of uplifting the backward classes could be achieved only if seats were reserved for OBCs in medical and dental admissions. Advocate K. Balu, representing Mr. Ramadoss, said, his client had even written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in this regard.

He argued that it was unfair to deny reservations for OB’s alone when the Centre had made sure that reservations were provided to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes alone in the All India quota in non-central medical and dental institutions.

Mr. Wilson said the Centre had not reserved any seats for OBCs in the recently published results for All India quota in postgraduate medical and dentals seats in non-central institutions, spread across the country, by citing a related case pending before the Supreme Court.

“Mere pendency of that case (Saloni Kumar versus Directorate of Health Services) since 2015 cannot be a ground to deny reservation. Moreover, that case is not against reservation, it is for reservation. There are no interim orders in that case,” he told the court.

Further, pointing out that Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations provide for following reservations as per the State laws, he insisted that 50% of medical and dental seats surrendered by the Tamil Nadu government to the All India quota must be filled up with OBCs.

Since the results for the All India quota in post graduate medical and dental seats were already out, he urged the court to pass an interim order stating that the admissions would be subject to the result of the present petitions seeking reservations for OBCs.

However, Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan opposed the plea for an interim order and stated that the petitioners must first implead the selected candidates too as respondents to the case before seeking an interim order against them.

On his part, Central Government Standing Counsel K. Venkataswamy Babu said, it would require a minimum of two weeks for the Centre to file a counter affidavit. After hearing all of them, the judges decided to take a call on the issue on Monday.

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