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Reservation not a fundamental right says Supreme Court, on pleas seeking OBC quota in Tamil Nadu medical colleges; BJP says government committed to reservation

  • Chakrika Pandey | Team PresentMirror | Updated: June 15, 2020, 1:11 p.m.

Rejecting the petition filed by parties from Tamil Nadu seeking 50% OBC reservation in the medical institutions within the state, SC asked them to withdraw their pleas and approach the Madras High Court instead. Responding to the court’s decision, BJP president J.P Nadda clarified party’s stance on the matter.


Supreme court rejects plea seeking OBC reservation in Tamil Nadu (File photo)

Political parties from Tamil Nadu in their petitions to Supreme Court had argued against Centre’s decision of not granting 50% quota to OBC candidates in the medical colleges of the state. The three-judge bench, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao on Thursday had observed reservation is not a fundamental right and rejected their pleas.

“But you have filed writ petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution. Article 32 petition is for violation of fundamental rights. What fundamental rights have been violated here,” Justice Rao had asked to senior advocate Mr. Wilson, representing DMK.

The parties maintained that the Centre was infringing the right to education of the people of Tamil Nadu by not implementing the 50% quota for Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes in seats surrendered by the state in the All India Quota for undergraduate, post graduate and medical courses for 2020-21.

“The Director General of Health Services is neither following the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 to provide 50% reservation for OBC candidates in All India Quota in undergraduate as well as postgraduate medical courses in Tamil Nadu, nor providing 27% reservation for OBC candidates in All India Quota in undergraduate as well as postgraduate medical courses to other States,” the State government’s petition had submitted.

The court refused to entertain their pleas, maintaining that reservation is not a fundamental right. The bench however, suggested the parties to withdraw their pleas and gave them the liberty to move the Madras High Court for the same.

A day after the court’s decision, Bharatiya Janata Party cleared the air by reiterating the party’s support for reservation. Party President, J. P. Nadda in a statement said, “The government under Modi and the BJP are committed to reservation. Our commitment to social justice is unbreakable. We stand committed to reservation. PM Modi has repeated it again and again. Our endeavour is always towards social harmony and equal opportunity for everyone.”

On the other hand, Union minister and leader of NDA ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Ram Vilas Paswan speaking to The Hindu urged all parties to “come together to put all laws regarding reservation in the Constitution's ninth schedule to lay all controversies to rest”. Ninth schedule of the constitution contains laws which are shielded from judicial review.

Following the court’s suggestion, Tamil Nadu ruling party, AIADMK along with DMK, Vaiko, Anbumani Ramadoss, CPI (M), Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and CPI had withdrawn their petitions on Thursday.

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