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Madras High Court issues notice in DMK’s contempt plea

The Madras High Court has issued notice in a contempt petition moved by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) over the authorities’ failure to comply with the High Court’s judgment concerning the implementation of Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation in medical colleges in Tamil Nadu.

A Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy issued notice in the contempt petition on Monday after hearing arguments made by Senior Advocate P Wilson for DMK. The matter will be taken up next on April 26.

In July last year, the High Court had ordered the formation of a committee to decide on the way reservations for OBCs can be implemented for State-surrendered medical seats in the All-India Quota (AIQ) in non-Central medical colleges.

The DMK contended that the directions issued by the High Court to this end have not been complied with by the Central government in the following respects:

  • Improper constitution of the Committee: The DMK recounted that the High Court had directed the inclusion of the Health Secretary of the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Committee. However, the Committee formed by the Centre omitted these two functionaries. It was noted that the Committee formed by the Centre comprises the DGHS Chairman, the Assistant Director General of the DGHS, a Corporation member of the Tamil Nadu Medical Services and members of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India (DCI). Pertinently, it was pointed out that instead of the State’s Health Secretary, a Corporation Member was nominated to the Committee by the State government’s Chief Secretary. In view of the same, the Chief Secretary was also impleaded as a respondent in the contempt case.
  • The Committee’s Terms of Reference (ToR) have been modified to deal only with OBC reservations rather than look into reservations of candidates of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe categories. This modified ToR, which is confined only to the OBC students, leaves the interests of Scheduled Caste students in the lurch, and will ultimately also drag the issue beyond 3 months, the DMK said. Notably, in Tamil Nadu a total of 69% reservation has been provided for OBCs, SC and ST, of which OBC (BC and MBC) reservations are to an extent of 50%. The 69% reservation is rooted in the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Schedules Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993.
  • The High Court’s direction that the decision of the Committee should be made preferably within three months has also been wilfully and blatantly violated with all impunity.
  • Due to the indecisiveness, the purpose for the formation of the Committee and the decision to grant 69% reservation in the All-India Quota in the State-contributed seats stands defeated.

In this backdrop, the DMK argued that the Centre is deliberately delaying the implementation of the High Court’s orders. It was also pointed out that the prospectus for 2021-22 postgraduate admissions has been issued without factoring in the reservation.



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