A Supreme Court Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna will hear today the case relating to admissions to NEET postgraduate (PG) courses [Neil Aurelio Nunes v. Union of India].The matter was listed for urgent hearing today after the Central government highlighted the protests by doctors in the national capital seeking expeditious decision in the matter since their admissions have been stalled due to the case. The case relates to petitions challenging the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) introduced by the Central government in the All-India Quota (AIQ) seats in State government medical institutions.One of the aspects the Court is specifically examining is the feasibility of having ₹8 lakh as a cap to avail the EWS quota for PG medical admissions.During the hearing of the case on October 25, the Central government had assured the Court that the counselling for PG medical courses will not start till the Court decides the matter.NEET counselling is usually held in March every year, but was delayed in 2021 due to COVID-19. The NEET-PG entrance examination itself was held only in September 2021, and the counselling has not started yet. The admission of around 50,000 resident doctors are, therefore, on hold.The doctors have thus taken to the streets, demanding that the counselling be conducted expeditiously.In an affidavit filed on January 1, the Centre told the Court that it has decided to stick to the existing criteria of ₹8 lakh annual income limit for determination of EWS reservation with respect to the ongoing admissions to the NEET PG courses.The Centre informed the top court that an expert committee constituted by the government to reassess the criteria suggested that the existing criteria may be continued for ongoing admissions, while the revised criteria suggested by the committee may be adopted from the next admission cycle.Read live updates from the hearing below..Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta: I must say that it is only because of your intervention that this exercise was undertaken and you were correct that it was required.Centre appointed a 3 member committee to check the feasibility of the Rs 8 lakh limit for EWS category..Senior Advocate Shyam Divan: Will your lordships like to hear us in this bench composition also?Justice DY Chandrachud: This week is a miscellaneous week and thus special bench couldn't be constituted. But since SG mentioned it due to the urgency it was listed before us..Divan: It was noted that this case was noted as part heard as we had fully argued and written submissions filed.SG: I am only on EWS..Senior Advocate Arvind Datar: they are justifying the 8 lakhs limit for EWS and we have much to say about this. After the amendment notification was issued. The first question here was whether an exercise was undertaken and there was no exercise this means.Divan: We had also prayed to stay the OBC reservation issue.Datar: Entire counselling is stopped, for this year the at least let the counselling carry on with the old system.Senior Advocate P Wilson: My friend cannot say OBC reservation cannot be given. Court has upheld it too. Reservation was granted at central level.Divan: We can argue then.Wilson: You have argued..Divan: Not before this bench..SG: this is very unfair my lord. Judges discuss..Justice Chandrachud: On November 25 you told us that you will revisit the criteria and now you have revisited the criteria. Now in this bench composition we have to hear Mr Divan and Mr Datar, so today if they conclude then we can hear you tomorrow in response..SG: Now there is a judicial adjudication as far as OBC is concerned. Government is earnestly requesting that we will not accept a position that poorest of poor or OBC is deprived of what is legitimately due to them. They have come to SC now even when notification was out in January 2019.SG: Counselling is stuck and its from graduation to post graduation. We need doctors and their concerns are genuine. As a society we cannot go into lengthy arguments now. We said we will revisit and the report has been submitted now..SG: The report needs to be seen in the light of the conscience is whether poorest of poor is covered. Let us proceed with counselling and we can assist the court in great detail..SG: We are in a situation which we did not apprehend. We are responding to the bonafide requests of the resident doctors. SC: What is Mr Divan and Mr Datar saying to this? Divan: We are saying you cannot change the rules of game when the game has begun.Justice Chandrachud: Can you conclude the point on counselling by 3.30 pm then Mr Datar can argue Datar: There are two difficulties for the counselling. If the counselling is done based on report then our plea is dismissed at the threshold. SC: Wrap up between you and Mr Divan by 4 pm.Senior Advocate Anand Grover appears for United Doctors Association: Give me some time tomorrow.Divan begins submissions. Divan: Please see the order of this court on September, 2020. First SLP was taken up. We had challenged the notification..Divan now refers to the writ petition. Divan: Plea cited urgent need of the NEET PG students where centre had decided to implement the 27 percent OBC and 10 percent EWS in All India Quota, with SC and ST as 15 and 7.5 percent respectively.Divan: I will be focusing on the OBC aspect..Divan: All India Quota was implemented upon directions of the Supreme Court. It consists of 15 percent of total UG seats and 50 percent in total UG seats as available in government medical colleges..Divan: My argument is this, OBC reservation cannot be implemented for this year. This All India Quota can be altered only after making application to this court. Should there be any variation it can only be done after this court orders and not by executive decision.Divan: Rules of the game cannot be changed belatedly. Information brochure for NEET PG was released on Feb 23, 2021 and registration commenced on that date. Last date of registration was March 23, 2021. Rules cannot be changed surely after this. Then it was postponed by 4 months..Divan: New date was September 11, 2021. So the new announcement was in July 2021. Impugned notice dated July 29, 2021 was after 5 months exam process began and thus changed rules of game and took away 2,500 seats meant for open category..Divan: This case (Pradeep Jain's ) was concerned with regard to domiciliary seats which we have cited. This 50 percent gets cemented by a Constitution bench judgment..Divan: An executive order cannot nullify a judgment of this court. This right is recognised and created by this Court which is a facet of Article 14..Divan: In many situations the PG course is often end of the road and super specialty is end of the road for many departments. Thus such changes cannot be applied here by the executive action. Thank you for the patient hearing.Senior Advocate Datar begins submissions on EWS.Datar: If you see explanation to Article 15(5) came on Jan 14, 2019. Office Memorandum came on January 17, 2019..Datar: In span of three days the criteria of 8 lakh was announced for EWS with property criteria. Unlike the backward classes committee where discussions were held with States and experts, here there was no such discussion undertaken..Datar: Present report justifies this but there was no study at all. All will be affected by this quota and it was done just without any study. SC: Where has this been implemented in educational colleges? Datar: Report says only for IAS, IPS officers.SC: Not IIT JEE?.ASG KM Natraj: It was implemented in central educational institutions long back. Datar: Basis for ₹8 lakh is just not there..Datar: If someone has money to invest in FDS, provident fund and makes capital gains in share markets, can they be called EWS?.Datar: Can we continue tomorrow? Justice Chandrachud: How long will you take? Datar: Maximum 30 minutes.P Wilson: Please hear the voice of OBC too. SC: We will hear the voice of reason Mr Wilson..SC: We have 15 fresh matters tomorrow. So we can start after they are all over. All of them won't take more than 30 to 45 minutes.