Madras High Court
Madras High Court
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Health Ministry proposes to apply State-specific reservation for OBC on All India Quota medical seats up to 50%: Madras HC told

The submission was made in a counter-affidavit filed in response to pleas filed before the Madras High Court protesting the Centre's failure to implement OBC reservation for state-surrendered medical seats.

Meera Emmanuel

The Central Government has submitted before the Madras High Court that the Union Health Ministry has proposed to carry out State-specific OBC reservation on all available All India Quota (AIQ) seats, with a condition that over all reservation will not exceed 50%.

The submission was made in a counter-affidavit filed in response to pleas filed before the Madras High Court protesting the Centre's failure to implement OBC reservation for state-surrendered medical seats.

The counter filed by Dr B Srinivas, Assistant Director General (ME) in the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), highlights that an allied plea for OBC reservation in medical seats is already pending final decision before the Supreme Court. While referring to the same, it is submitted that,

"The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in its affidavit has proposed to apply State specific reservation for OBC on all available AIQ UG and PG seats, with a condition that over all reservation will not exceed 50% of total available sets and the existing reservation of the UR, ST and SC will not be disturbed by proportionally increasing the number of seats, with the cooperation of all participating States and MCI."

It is added that, "On implementation of State Specific Reservation Policy for SC, ST and OBC, the State Government will have to contribute AIQ seats category wise including seats reserved for Physically Handicapped candidates by maintaining reservation roster at college/state level."

This apart, the Centre has also asserted that the medical seats are being allotted in strict compliance of the Supreme Court's earlier orders on OBC reservations.

It noted that once the medical college seats are contributed by the States for the All india Quota, "there is no pre-applied reservation and the rules of State reservation policies do no apply any further."

Rather, it is submitted that the following scheme of reservation is applied, as per the Supreme Court's directons for the NEET-PG Counselling 2020 in All India Quota.

  • Scheduled Caste -15%

  • Scheduled Tribe - 7.5%

  • Other Backward Classes (OBC) - 27% (Non-creamy layer) and only in Central Institutions

  • PwD - 5% Horizontal Reservation

  • Economically Weaker Sections - 10% only in Central Institutions

It is added that if any interim order is passed by the High Court in the matter with respect to the latest round of medical admissions, it would affect hospitals at a time when there is a shortage of medical staff on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The time frame fixed for medical admissions would also be affected.

"Any interim order as sought for by the petitioners in the writ petitions would affect the hospitals to which the selected candidates were allowed more particularly when there is a shortage of medical staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic", the counter affidavit reads.

Among other submissions, the Centre has also referred to a 2016 Supreme Court order, whereby it was directed that after two rounds of the medical seat allotment process, the seats remaining vacant shall be deemed to have been surrendered back to the respective States.

Therefore the vacant seats are then sent back to the respective States and the States may fill the same as per their respective reservation schemes, it is noted.

The Centre goes on to urge the Madras High Court that since a similar plea is already pending before the Supreme Court, which is expected to take up the same next month, the petitioners may be directed to implead themselves as parties before the Supreme Court in the matter.

In a unique turn of events, major political parties of Tamil Nadu, including the ruling AIADMK and its opposition, the DMK have moved writ petitions over the issue, while also challenging this year's medical seat allotment as having neglected OBC reservation.

The High Court was approached earlier this month, after the Supreme Court directed the same on June 11.

Read the common counter-affidavit for the DGHS. and the Central Government:

Common Counter affidavit of R 4 in W.P.No. 8326 of 2020 (8324 of 2020 & batch).pdf
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