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The Supreme Court today stayed the implementation of the Maharashtra government’s resolutions passed this year providing for 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of society.
The State of Maharashtra, by virtue of these resolutions, implemented the 10% reservation for admissions to post graduate seats in medical colleges. However, the admission process for the same had commenced in November 2018, much before the 103rd Constitutional amendment was passed.
The applicability of the quota was highlighted by Senior Counsel Gourab Banerji and Sanjay Hegde, who also argued that when reservation for the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) category was introduced in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court had laid down that the same could not be implemented retrospectively. This view was subsequently affirmed by the Supreme Court.
On similar lines, some students belonging to the general category had moved the Supreme Court challenging the State’s decision to implement the EWS quota in the ongoing admission process for medical courses.
The State of Maharashtra, represented by Advocate Nishant Katneshwarkar, argued that the seats corresponding to the 10% EWS quota have been filled and a change at this point would have an adverse effect on the students who have secured admission based on the same.
The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi with Justice Aniruddha Bose however was of the view that the implementation of this reservation in this academic year is prima facie wrong. CJI Gogoi said,
“If something is wrong we will have to undo it.”
The Court said that it would be wrong to implement the EWS quota without the Medical Council of India (MCI) increasing the number of seats by 10%. In this regard, the Court said,
“The modalities of selection cannot be changed after initiation of process…
…unless additional seats are created by MCI, the existing seats cannot be subjected to the provisions of the aforesaid amendment by issuance of notifications.”
The Court thus held that on the basis of this tentative view taken by the Court, the notification providing for the implementation of the EWS quota will have no effect on the ongoing process of admission.
“We deem it proper to reflect that the notification of Maharashtra dated 7 Feb 2019 will have no application to the ongoing process of admission.”
Read the Order: