SC seeks reply on plea against Maharashtra quota

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government to give its response on a petition challenging a Bombay High Court decision to dismiss a plea against 16% quota for Marathas in admission to PG medical and dental courses.

The petition filed by Nagpur resident Sameer challenged the State government’s decision on quota for Marathas in PG medical courses for the current academic session, through an ordinance.

A Bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant said either the High Court or the Supreme Court has to adjudicate on the issue as the “petitioners cannot be left remedy less.”

Restraint on courts

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the petitioner, argued that the Bombay High Court did not consider the matter as the apex court had on June 4, restrained any other courts from entertaining any plea related to admission to PG medical courses.

The petitioner had challenged 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 (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2019 before the High Court.

He stated that the State government had contrary to the provisions of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act 2018 sought to reserve 16% seats for the SEBC candidates for the current academic year where the admission process had already commenced.

It submitted that the High Court on May 2 had held the application of 16% reservation for the current academic session for the PG courses of MDS, MD/MS as illegal.

The plea said that the High Court had ordered the conduct of the admission process afresh by eliminating the reservation for the current academic session. This order was upheld by the Supreme Court, it added.

“However, the ordinance issued is an attempt to circumvent the directions…hence for this reason alone, the ordinance deserves to be quashed and set aside,” the plea said.

The top court has posted the case for hearing on June 24.

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