The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday questioned the authority under which the Centre had provided 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of society in the undergraduate and postgraduate seats offered by State-run medical colleges to the all India quota (AIQ) every year.
Arguing a contempt of court petition, filed against top central bureaucrats, before Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu, senior counsel P. Wilson, representing the DMK, said the High Court had last year directed the Centre to implement reservations only for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the AIQ medical seats.
When the direction was not complied with and implemented during the present academic year, the party chose to move the present contempt plea this year. Thereafter, the court insisted that the OBC reservation must be implemented forthwith and the Centre decided to provide reservations not only for OBCs but for EWS as well, he pointed out.
Questioning the Centre for refusing to grant 50% reservation for OBCs as per the State reservation policy and insisting upon providing only 27% reservation as per the Central policy, the senior counsel asked: “They are saying the court did not order for 50% reservation. I am asking, which court ordered for giving reservation to the EWS?”
Mr. Wilson pointed out that the Centre had all along been claiming that AIQ was a creation of the Supreme Court and therefore the reservations too were being provided only as per court orders. Initially, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes alone were given reservations as per the orders of the top court and the OBCs were denied the benefit.
After the DMK and several others filed writ petitions in the High Court, an order was passed last year that the OBCs too were entitled to reservations. A committee was also constituted for that purpose. However, now the Centre had gone ahead and provided reservation for EWS too in the medical seats surrendered by State government colleges without any court order, he complained.
Stating that the Government of Tamil Nadu had not accepted EWS reservation and had not implemented it in public employment or education in State-run institutions, the senior counsel insisted that the Centre ought to have obtained the consent of the State government before applying EWS reservation to the seats offered to AIQ.
Further, explaining the rationale behind insisting upon 50% reservation for OBCs, he said, many students from Tamil Nadu compete for the seats too, and therefore it would certainly be beneficial if the overall 69% reservation policy (50% for OBCs, 18% for Scheduled Castes and 1% for Scheduled Tribes) was implemented in AIQ seats too.
After hearing him out, the judges adjourned the case to Wednesday for Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj to obtain instructions from the Centre on the issue of EWS reservation in AIQ medical seats.