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SC Asks Madras HC to Decide Tamil Nadu's Plea for OBC Quota in Medical Admissions

File photo of the Supreme Court.

File photo of the Supreme Court.

The apex court, which was scheduled to hear the case titled as Saloni Kumar versus Union of India on July 8, has adjourned the hearing and had fixed the case for a later date.

The Supreme Court Monday asked the Madras High Court to decide the pleas, including one filed by Tamil Nadu government, against the Centre's decision not to grant 50 per cent quota to OBCs in medical seats surrendered by the state in all India quota for under graduate, post-graduate and dental courses in 2020-21.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said the high court should decide the plea of the state government and others irrespective of the pendency of another case here.

In a hearing conducted via video link, the top court said, "All the contention raised in petitions (before it) should be decided by the High Court" and requested the High Court to deal with the case.

Earlier, the state government had moved the Supreme Court on July 2 seeking a direction to the High Court to expeditiously decide its plea challenging the Centre's decision not to grant 50 per cent quota to OBCs in medical seats surrendered by the state in all India quota for UG, PG and dental courses in 2020-21.

It had assailed the June 22 high court order which refused to grant any interim order on the OBC quota row saying that a similar petition was already scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court.

The apex court, which was scheduled to hear the case titled as Saloni Kumar versus Union of India on July 8, has adjourned the hearing and had fixed the case for a later date.

The High Court had fixed the state's plea on quota on July 9.

The state government and some political parties such as DMK, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), CPI (M), Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and CPI had moved the high court after the Supreme Court, on June 11, refused to entertain their petitions and asked them to approach the high court.

"Direct the High Court to expeditiously hear and dispose of the writ petitions...," the state government said in its plea before the top court.

The High Court has in effect declined to take up the writ petitions in spite of the fact that the Respondents (Centre, MCI and others) had virtually conceded to the prayer sought for in the writ petition.

"The High Court has failed to appreciate that the respondents are stalling adjudication of the issue. The (High) Court has been misled by the Respondent's contentions and has unjustifiably kept the Petitioner's writ petition in abeyance till this court issues orders in an ostensibly identical matter...," it said.

The high court had refused to pass any interim order on the pleas after taking note of the Centre's submission that since 1986 no reservation has been provided in the AIQ (All-India quota) seats for medical admission as per the apex court directive.

"The same was modified after 10 years, providing reservation for SC/ST. In 2015, pleas were moved seeking OBC reservation, which is still pending before the apex court, which has to take a call and modify the order," the counsel for the Centre had told the High Court.

The state government and various political parties have challenged the Centre''s decision not to grant 50 per cent reservation to OBCs as per Tamil Nadu law.

Some of the petitioners, in their interim prayers before the High Court, had sought to stall the ongoing admissions for PG medical courses.

The pleas had alleged that the Centre also did not follow its own policy of 27 per cent reserved seats for OBCs under the 2006 Act.

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