The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central government to file an affidavit giving reasons why it has fixed an annual income limit of ₹8 lakh for availing reservation under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category for postgraduate medical seats through the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).A three-judge Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud noted that the income limit of ₹8 lakh for EWS is the same as the cut-off for exclusion of creamy layer from Other Backward Classes (OBCs).It, therefore, expressed serious reservations on whether any study was conducted at all before fixing the same limit for EWS. "You must have some demographic or sociological or socio economic data. You just cannot pull out ₹8 lakh from thin air. The only thing you say is parity with OBC," the Court remarked. But by applying the same limit to OBC and EWS, you are equating unequals as equals, the Court opined.It therefore, proceeded to order the Centre to file a detailed affidavit in this regard."The income limit for determining creamy layer in OBC and EWS is same that is 8 lakh. While in OBC, economically progressed is excluded so that social backwardness diminishes, in EWS it is done to include the segments. Therefore, the income criterion in OBC which is based on exclusion and in EWS is based on inclusion. In such a scenario, it would be arbitrary to provide similar income limit for EWS and OBC," the Court said in its order..Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj appearing for the Central government, said that the limit was fixed based on Sinho Commission report but the Court was not convinced..The Court said that it is proposing to form the following issues in the order on which affidavit is sought: 1. Whether Centre undertook an exercise before arriving at the criteria to determine EWS.2. If the answer is affirmative, then is the criteria based on Sinho Commission report and if so place the report on record before the Court. .While we grant liberty to Centre to bring full record before us, the court must be apprised on what basis has the EWS income criterion been arrived at, the Bench added."It would be necessary for the Centre to disclose before the court the nature of exercise undertaken in accordance with Article 15(2). We make it clear that we are not entering area of policy but need the disclosure for adhering to constitutional principles," the Court further directed..The Court was hearing a challenge to the 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10% reservation for EWS in all-India Quota seats for postgraduate medical courses.The petitioners have sought quashing of a July 29 notification issued by the Medical Counselling Committee announcing these reservations in all-India quota seats starting from the current academic session 2021-22.As many as 15% seats in MBBS and 50% seats in MS and MD courses in medical colleges are filled through the all-India quota from candidates selected through NEET.The petitioners raised the questions as to whether there should be vertical or horizontal reservations for these seats, and whether an annual income of ₹8 lakh was a valid criteria for availing reservation under the EWS category..Senior Advocates Arvind Datar and Shyam Divan argued for the petitioners.The matter will be heard again on October 28.