Reservation in educational admissions in Tamil Nadu is 69 per cent due to the enforcement of the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy gave the direction while passing orders on a contempt application from the DMK, alleging that the Centre had failed to fully implement a Madras HC order of July 2020 issued by the then Chief Justice A P Sahi-led first bench.
Among other things, the 2020 order had held that the matter had to be resolved between the State government and the Centre with the participation of the Medical Council of India, as well as the Dental Council of India.
It had suggested constitution of a Committee for providing the terms of implementation of such reservation as claimed by the petitioners, which can only be done with regard to the courses that are to be run in future and not in the then academic year.
In its July 27, 2020 order, the first bench, then led by Chief Justice Sahi, had held there was no constitutional and legal impediment to the extension of reservation for OBCs in the state-surrendered seats.
Contending this order was not fully complied with, the DMK preferred the present contempt application.
The bench on Monday observed that the Centre's attempt to not implement the OBC reservation quota in respect of the AIQ seats in the state in the academic year 2021-22 appears to be contumacious.
It was in derogation of last year's order passed by this court and contrary to the representation made before the Supreme Court as recorded later that year, it said.
The bench noted the challenge to the July 2020 order was restricted to the timing of the implementation of the OBC reservation, as per the State Act of 1993.
The court had directed the implementation from the academic year 2021-22, while the petitioners and the State sought an earlier implementation of the relevant reservation.
There was no challenge to the application of the OBC reservation as per the State Act of 1993 to the All India Quota seats, as had been held in principle in the order of this court.
To repeat, the considered stand of the Union was that steps were being taken to implement the OBC reservation to All India Quota seats in this State from the academic year 2021- 22.
It now appears the Union seeks to change track and keep the implementation of the OBC reservation as per the 1993 State Act in suspension till the Saloni Kumari case is decided by the Supreme Court, the bench said.
The contempt petition is directed against such proposal or suggestion of the Union, it added.
Prima facie, it is completely unacceptable despite the Union representing in course of relevant proceedings before the apex court that the OBC reservation quota as per the 1993 Act would be implemented, it would now not implement it on the specious ruse that the Saloni Kumari matter had first to be decided by the Supreme Court.
In the first place, the matter pertaining to the OBC reservation quota in respect of the AIQ seats in the state came to be taken up for final decision and was finally decided pursuant to the observation in the previous Supreme Court order of July 13, 2020 to the effect that the issue involved in the Saloni Kumari case would not stand in the way of the matter being decided by this court.
Meanwhile, the State, led by the DMK party, indicated its proposal as to the manner of implementation of the reservation to the Committee constituted in terms of this court's order of July 27, 2020 by the middle of October, 2020, the bench pointed out.
''Accordingly, the contemnors are permitted a week's time to indicate their considered stand as to the mode and manner of implementation of the OBC reservation quota in terms of the 1993 State Act in respect of the All India Quota seats in the State pertaining to the medical and dental colleges from the next academic year 2021-22,'' the bench said.
It made it clear that admissions into the relevant colleges in Tamil Nadu can only now be upon implementing such reservation.