EWS reservation in NEET: SC sets aside HC observation

SC sets aside 'unnecessary observation' by Madras HC on EWS reservation in NEET AIQ

The bench noted that Constitution bench was examining the validity of the 103rd constitutional amendment, which provided the EWS reservation

Supreme Court of India. Credit: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court on Friday set aside "unnecessary" observations by the Madras High Court, that reservation for economically weaker sections in the NEET-All India Quota (AIQ) medical seats can be implemented only after the approval of top court’s Constitution bench. 

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna said that the High Court was examining a contempt petition, which sought implementation of OBC reservation in NEET-AIQ, therefore observations on 10 per cent EWS quota was transgression of its jurisdiction. 

Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj, appearing for the Centre, contended that the High Court should not have made the observation, while it was exercising its contempt jurisdiction.

Agreeing to the submission, the top court said when the High Court found no contempt, it should not have gone into wider spectrum.

“There the High Court has really erred……..when you are in contempt jurisdiction, you just need to see if the order has been complied or not," the bench said. 

In its August judgment, the High Court had said, “The additional reservation provided for EWS in the notification of July 29, 2021 cannot be permitted, except with the approval of the Supreme Court in such regard". 

It had also noted that the Constitution bench was examining the validity of the 103rd constitutional amendment, which provided the EWS reservation. 

On Friday, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the DMK submitted that the issue was "complicated", and the plea filed by the Centre should be heard with other petitions challenging the EWS/OBC quota in the NEET-AIQ. 

The court, however, clarified it was not saying anything on the merits of the EWS quota in NEET-AIQ.

The court would take up on October 7, petitions challenging the Centre's notification of July 29 to implement OBC, EWS quota in NEET-AIQ from current academic session.

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