The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea challenging the validity of Maharashtra government's ordinance granting 16 per cent reservation to Marathas in admission to post-graduate medical and dental courses in the current academic year.
The state government contended that the ordinance in the form of a Bill was approved by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and the admission to post-graduate courses was already over by June 17.
A Vacation Bench, comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B.R. Gavai, found merit in the arguments of the Maharashtra government's counsel. The court also noted the petitioner has secured admission in a college in Mumbai.
It also observed the Bombay High Court had reserved judgement on the validity of the law in connection with reservation.
Earlier, the apex court had issued a notice to the Maharashtra government on a plea challenging the Bombay High Court order, which declined to entertain a plea against 16 per cent quota for Marathas in post-graduate medical and dental courses.
The petitioner said the quota was contrary to the genesis of competitive examinations, such as NEET, that clearly established that only meritorious students "can avail a choice of their college and would be allotted a course of their preference".
The Nagpur bench of the High Court declined to entertain the plea challenging the ordinance issued by the government on May 20, providing 16 per cent reservation to socially and economically backward classes (SEBC) in admission to post-graduate medical and dental courses.
The petitioner moved the apex court challenging the validity of the June 13 order. Questioning the validity of the SEBC quota ordinance, the petitioner had referred it as violation of the fundamental right.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the high court failed to consider the matter on merit in light of the apex court's June 4 order that stated that no other court would deal with any plea related to admission to post-graduate courses.
"In this case, the ordinance is clearly an attempt to nullify the judgment passed by the high court and upheld by the Supreme Court, holding the provisions of the SEBC Act, 2018 inapplicable to the current academic year with respect to post-graduate medical courses as admission process had commenced prior to implementation of the Act," he said.
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