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Right to reservation not a fundamental right, SC observes in plea against Centre's refusal to implement 50% OBC quota for medical seats

"Right to Reservation is not a fundamental right", observed the Supreme Court Bench.

Debayan Roy

The Supreme Court today asked the petitioners urging it to implement 50% Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation for state-surrendered seats in the all-India quota for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses to approach the Madras High Court.

The three-judge Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and Ravindra Bhat took primary objection that the petitions by political parties AIADMK, DMK and others were filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.

Justice Rao sought to know from the Senior Advocate P Wilson, appearing for DMK, whether there was any fundamental right violation involved in the plea. The Court went on to observe,

"Right to Reservation is not a fundamental right".

Supreme Court

In response, Wilson stated that the petitioners were asking for Medical Council of India provisions to be followed and that they were "not asking the Court to add reservation afresh".

The Supreme Court has now ordered that all petitioners including AIADMK, DMK, Tamil Nadu Congress, Vaiko, CPI and CPI(M) withdraw their petitions and approach Madras High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The petitions have challenged the Centre's failure to ensure reservation for OBCs in the category of state-captured seats in undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma medical seats of the all India quota, as per law.

It is argued that in the past academic years, the OBCs were “grossly under-represented” in the all-India quota seats for undergraduate, diploma, PG diploma and postgraduate medical colleges across the country.

The petition by DMK highlights that "no OBC reservations are given in these State surrendered seats to the All India Quota in non-central Government medical institutions. The net result is that all States are losing OBC reservations in the seats surrendered by them to the All India Quota to the detriment of their MBC/OBC students. This has led to a huge loss to the students of the OBC categories."

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