NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said admissions to PG medical and dental courses in Maharashtra through 12% Maratha reservation will be subject to the outcome of pending petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the new quota in jobs and admissions to educational institutions introduced from last year.
counsel Amit Anand Tiwari
for a group of doctors intending to pursue postgraduate medical and dental courses in the state, a bench of Justices L N Rao and
said, "all the admissions to the PG medical and dental courses in Maharashtra for 2020-21 shall be subject to the outcome of the pending petitions challenging the validity of Maratha reservation."
Tiwari said at present only 26% seats are available for
open category students
as 74% seats have been reserved for various categories. The bench said these pending matters are required to be heard and decided. It ordered the registry to list the petitions challenging Maratha reservation for final disposal in July.
The Bombay High Court had on June 27 last year upheld the Maratha quota but said it should be reduced to 12-13% from 16%. Immediately appeals were filed against the HC order in SC, which on July 12 last year had entertained the challenge and said, "action taken pursuant to the order of the HC shall be subject to the result of the special leave petitions. However, we make it clear that the order of the HC or reservation in question shall not have any retrospective effect."
The MBBS pass-outs, aspiring to compete in the open category for PG medical and dental seats and who have cleared the NEET examination, said the SC in a series of judgments has ruled that "at the highest levels of medical education, excellence cannot be compromised to the detriment of the nation. Admissions to the highest level of medical courses in the country at the super speciality levels, where even the facilities for training are limited, must be given only on the basis of competitive merit. There can be no relaxation at this level."
"Framers of our Constitution had never visualised the misuse of reservation at the hand of political parties to such an extent wherein the competitiveness of an open category student (general category) was to be reduced only to 26% of seats in PG Medical courses," the students lamented.
The petitioners said, till 2018, there was 52% reservation of seats in Maharashtra. In 2019, the central government introduced a 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section, followed by Maharashtra government which added 12% Maratha reservation. They said they had got admitted to the MBBS courses by competing for 48% open category seats. However, at the post-graduation level, they are being compelled to compete for only 26% seats, which is unfair and a violation of their fundamental right to education.
The 74% reservation in education in Maharashtra comprises of SCs 13%, STs 7%, OBCs 19%, Special Backward Class 2%, Vimukta Jati 3%, Nomadic Tribes (B) 2.5%,
Nomadic Tribes C
) 3.5%, Vanjari (Nomadic Tribes D) 2%, Maratha 12% and EWS 10%.