A top bench of Madras High Court has raised questions on the centre’s decision of implementing a 10% EWS Quota in the medical colleges at the All India level. As per Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu, the 10% EWS Quota contradicts the Supreme Court’s earlier decision according to which only 50% of categorial reservation is valid in state-based Medical colleges. The Court further highlighted that 27% reservation to OBC, 15% for SC, and 7.5% for ST category falls in accordance with the 50% cap earlier decided by the Supreme Court.
Earlier, in July 2021, the government has passed reservation bills ascertaining 27% reservation to OBC category and 10% to EWS category students in the All India Medical exams. However, the High Court pointed out that the government is not independent of passing these orders without the approval of the SC. In its remarks, the bench also mentioned that these reservation bills are just making casteism more prominent in the country and are actually deviating from its real purpose. It also said that, with a country having an age of more than 70 years, decisions taken should reflect more maturity.
These remarks came while the High Court was closing the petition filed by the DMK party against the Central government. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) against their offer of providing 27% reservation to OBC and not following the reservation orders passed by the Madras HC earlier. In 2020, the MHC has passed a landmark judgment according to which, 69% reservation quota was applicable to medical colleges of Tamil Nadu. Out of the 69% quota, 50% reservation was applicable to the OBC category while 18% and 1% for the SC and ST category respectively. The Madras High Court ordered the centre to provide 50% reservation to OBC students from the academic year 2020-21.
However, the officials did not adhere to the decision and rather they offered 27% reservation to OBC students under the All India Quota. Over the violation of the High Court, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam filed a petition against the top officials of the centre. However, the High Court stated that their demand for 50% quota for OBC students is completely non-acceptable and the AIQ should be uniform across all the states who have Medical and Dental Colleges.