Approach HC first: Supreme Court junks Plea of Meritorious PG medical candidates challenging Maratha Quota Ordinance
Mumbai: The Supreme Court has rejected the petitions filed by the meritorious students challenging the ordinance which allowed PG medical admissions to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) candidates this academic year.
According to recent media reports, the apex court has told the petitioners to approach the Bombay High Court first.
Medical Dialogues has extensively reported about the reservations issues in the state for this year’s PG medical admissions.
- On November 30 last year, the Maharashtra Legislature had passed a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for the Marathas, declared SEBC by the government and hence it decided to grant them the reservation.
- In Maharashtra, 50 % of medical seats in government-run medical colleges are for reserved category (SC/ST/OBC/ VJNT). Out of the other 50% which is known as the open category; 14% of seats go to Persons with Disability (PwD), defence and other quotas. There is also a special quota (depending on eligible candidates) for students from the reserved categories who are eligible for an open quota seat based on their scores, ranging from 3%-5%.
- In addition, 10% has been fixed for medical students belonging to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.
- Further, the implementation of 16% Maratha quota was done which left a meagre 5 % for candidates vying medical admission on merit basis.
Aggrieved with less number of seats, various petitions were filed with the HC by the meritorious candidates.
On May 4, the division bench of honourable Justices Sunil Shukre and Pushpa Ganediwala ruled in their order that the March 8 notification about the implementation of the new 16 per cent reservation for the Maratha community, under the SEBC quota; shall not be applicable to the PG medical admission process, which had started earlier.
In response to the HC order, the state had moved the SC seeking an ex-parte stay on the High Court’s judgment and leave to file an appeal against the said judgment.
SC bench of honourable Justices Nageswara Rao and MR Shah felt that since the admission process had already begun last year the HC order was right.
While this SC order was a major blow to the Maharashtra government and SEBC quota candidates, who had already taken admission on the basis of the Maratha quota while cancelling their seats that they had acquired via All India Quota counselling; the open category (meritorious) PG medical aspirants were clearly delighted.
However, the issue did not end there. The SEBC candidates moved the Maharashtra CM Fadnavis urging to take action and save one year of their studies.
Later, the ordinance route was taken by the state to allow PG medical admissions to SEBC candidates and the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the State and for appointments in the public services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2019 was put in place.
Further to which, Maha CET issued the list of qualified candidates including over 200 Maratha quota students.
Now, according to a report by TOI, the aggrieved meritorious PG medical aspirants moved the SC to challenge the ordinance a day after it was issued.
However, their petition was not entertained by the apex court.
The petitioners were told to approach Bombay HC, as the Vacation Bench of honourable Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Surya Kant felt that the issue ought to be heard it first. The Bench directed HC to consider the matter as early as possible, reports DNA.
May 31 is the last date for completion of the PG medical admission process, as per the schedule released by the Medical Council of India.
Moreover, the SC bench has deferred till May 27 the hearing on a writ petition seeking a direction to the Maharashtra government not to implement the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota in PG medical admissions in the state, reports ANI.