Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government and various political parties representing the State had appealed to the apex court to direct the Centre to implement 50 per cent reservation for the current academic year (2020-21). During the last hearing on Tuesday, the bench constituting Justice Nageswara Rao, Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Ajay Rastogi had directed the Centre to file its reply on this issue.
The Centre’s stand on the quota issue triggered vociferous protest from the parties in Tamil Nadu. The affidavit reflected the “vengeful attitude of the BJP-led Centre against reservation,” said DMK president MK Stalin. CPI said in a statement that the NDA government was destroying the long-fought education and employment rights of the most backward in Tamil Nadu. Others including MDMK, PMK and VCK, too, issued statements condemning the Centre’s stand.
In July, the Supreme Court asked the Madras High Court to decide on the pleas, including one filed by the State government, against the Centre’s decision not to grant 50 per cent quota to OBCs in All India Quota medical seats surrendered by the State. 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 response, the Madras High Court had said, “There is no legal or constitutional bar against OBC reservation under All India Quota.” In August, the Health Department had announced Dr P Umanath, Managing Director of the TN Medical Services Corporation as its nominee to the committee.