Observations made by the Madras High Court about seeking the Supreme Court's approval before implementing the quota for Economically Weaker Sections or EWS in medical and dental courses were set aside by the Supreme Court on Friday, in a reprieve for the union government.
However, Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna said it was not setting them aside on the basis of merit but because the lower court should not have made the observations while hearing a contempt petition filed by the DMK.
The Supreme Court also stressed that the case over the reservation policy was still pending before it and it is not giving any opinion on that now.
The top court was hearing a plea by the centre against the Madras High Court's order in which it while upholding the validity of Centre's notification dated July 29, 2021, of implementing 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in All India Quota seats of medical colleges had observed that 10 per cent reservation provided to Economically Weaker Sections or EWS could be permitted only subject to the Supreme Court's approval.
The Madras High Court had made the observations on August 25 while hearing a contempt plea filed against the Centre by Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK over the delay in implementing the reservation for the 2021-22 academic year despite the High Court's earlier direction to do so.
The Supreme Court on Friday also heard pleas filed by medical students against the Centre's new reservation policy in medical and dental courses and directed the government to file its response by October 6. The court also asked petitioners to file summaries of their submissions by then.
On July 29, the union government had announced its decision to provide 27 per cent reservation for OBCs and 10 per cent for Economically Weaker Sections in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses from the current academic year.
The All India Quota, under which the government has extended the reservation, is applicable for 15p er cent of total available undergraduate seats and 50 per cent of total available post-graduate seats in government medical colleges across India.