NEW DELHI: The DMK has told the Supreme Court that granting of 27 per cent Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation in state contributed seats to all India quota in NEET cannot be a subject matter of litigation again and again when the court had already settled the issue.
The ruling party in Tamil Nadu told the top court that by the notification dated July 29, 2020 directing implementation of 27 per cent reservation for OBC (non-creamy layer) along with 10 per cent EWS reservation in 15 per cent UG and 50 per cent PG in all India quota seats-state contributed seats (SCS-AIQ), the Centre had set right the anomaly for OBCs after a period of 13 years.
In a written submission filed in the pending petitions by some NET candidates challenging the July 29 notification, it said that after the 93rd constitutional amendment and introduction of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Admissions) Act 2006, the Centre in 2008 provided 27 per cent reservations for OBC in AIQ in the central government contributed seats in central educational institutions.
It said, however, reservations in the SCS-AIQ were denied by the Union government for OBC despite states like Tamil Nadu having 50 per cent reservation under its state law of 1993.
"Thus, the OBC candidates have been deprived of thousands of seats by the Union of India in the previous years. Vide the impugned notice the Union has set right the anomaly for OBCs after a period of 13 years. The granting of impugned reservations of 27 per cent for OBCs in the SCSAIQ would benefit around 4000 students this year and would cause a positive domino effect on the society at large," the DMK said.
The party further said that social justice is a facet of equality which is a fundamental right and policy of reservations is to set off inequality, bridge the gap between equals and un-equals, remove manifest imbalance for those lagging behind, and remedy the past historical discrimination and injustice done to a social class of people.
"It is an affirmative action and positive declaration. It is not 'sucking off seats' as described by the petitioner's counsel. Reservation is a right of share in education and employment in order to bring a level playing field.
Policy of reservation is part of the State's duty to promote socio economic justice enshrined in the Preamble of the constitution and the fundamental rights," it said.
The party submitted that under a State law of 1993, the reservation in Tamil Nadu is at 69 per cent, however for OBC (BC and MBC), the reservations total to 50 per cent and under the impugned notice 27 per cent reservation is granted to OBCs across the country uniformly by the Union.
"I state that reservation is granted on the basis of empirical data available for 27 per cent reservation for OBCs after detailed study by Mandal Commission and tested by this court and also on the basis of subsequent 93rd constitutional amendment and enactment of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2006.
Therefore granting of 27 per cent reservation cannot be a subject matter of litigation again and again when this Court had already settled the issue," it said.
The DMK further said that regulations for the post graduate and under graduate medical education stipulate that the reservation of seats in medical and dental colleges for respective categories shall be as per applicable laws prevailing in States/Union Territories where the medical college is physically situated.
Countering the claims of NEET candidates who have challenged the Centre's July 29 notification, the party said they have not challenged these regulations and have challenged the implementation of such reservations in SCS-AIQ and hence writ petitions deserve to be dismissed on this score alone.
"It is submitted that the petitioners claim to have come from different parts of the country to file this writ petition under Article 32.
The petitioners are merely wearing a mask of merit in order to destroy social justice and to bring disharmony and social disorder.
Their intention is to create unrest in the country and restore the injustice, illegalities and discrimination in the society," it said.
The party termed the batch of writ petitions before the court as nothing but a mala fide attempt to hinder the admission process of UG/PG diploma courses in the field of medicine and to cause hurdle in providing admissions to the OBC candidates covered under the impugned notice of July 29.
On October 21, the top court had asked the Centre whether it would like to revisit the limit of rupees eight lakh annual incomes fixed for determining the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category for reservation in NEET admissions for medical courses.
It had asked the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Department of Personnel and Training to file a detailed affidavit in a week as to on what basis the limit was fixed.
On September 17, the top court has agreed to hear a batch of pleas of students against the July 29 notice providing 27 per cent reservation for OBC and 10 per cent for EWS category in 15 per cent UG and 50 per cent PG All India Quota seats (MBBS/BDS and MD/MS/MDS) with effect from the current academic session 2021-22.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)