New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday while hearing batch of petitions seeking 50 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) candidates in Tamil Nadu's medical colleges, observed that "right to reservation is not a Fundamental Right."
A divisional bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice S Ravindra Bhat was hearing pleas filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Vaiko, Anbumani Ramadoss, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and CPI, that challenged the Centre's decision of not granting 50 per cent reservation to OBCs as per Tamil Nadu law in medical seats surrendered by the state in the All India Quota for under graduate, post graduate and dental courses in 2020-21.
"We are seeing that all the rival political parties are on same page but the right to reservation is not a fundamental right and cannot be challenged under Article 32 of the Constitution", the bench said.
Several ministries including the Ministry of Health as well as the Medical Council of India and the National Board of Examinations were made parties in the petition.
The bench, while refusing to entertain the plea asked the petitioners if they want the Top Court to dismiss the petition, following which the petitioners withdrew the plea.
The three-judge bench, however, granted the petitioners, the liberty to approach the High Court.
Earlier this month, Tamil Nadu unit of the CPI-M had approached the Apex Court demanding 50 per cent reservation for OBC, 18 pc for Scheduled Castes and 1 per cent for Scheduled Tribes, in the seats left by the state in the All India quota for medical and dental courses for the year 2020-21.
The DMK had also filed a petition requesting similar relief to the students in the matter of admission in medical courses. The party, in its plea, had said the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations clearly contemplate adherence to state reservation laws while filling up of the seats.
Meanwhile, the AIADMK had filed a petition on Monday, stating that it is not rational not to give the benefit of 50 per cent reservation to students from OBCs despite the system under Tamil Nadu law. The petition said that since the quota system was implemented at the all-India level, OBC representation for admission to medical colleges in the country has been low in many academic sessions.
The bench, during today's hearing, was surprised over the DMK, AIADMK and Left parties coming on one platform on a same issue.(UNI)