(When affirmative action for one jeopardises the future of others)  

The Supreme Court has issued notice and directed to list all the connected matters including the main challenges to SEBC Act on 7th July 2020 for final hearing, by considering a writ petition filed by Aditya Bimal Shastri & Four others MBBS Doctors of State of Maharashtra, who have cleared the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET- PG 2020) with high merit, challenging the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Reservations i.e. Reservation of 12% of Maratha Community in Medical and Dental PG Admissions in the State of Maharashtra.

The petitioners here argued that the aforesaid reservation has led to gross injustice and unequal treatment to the open category meritorious students of Maharashtra, who can now avail only on the reduced 26% seats in PG admission as 74% of seats in the state are reserved. The reservation in the State has seriously prejudiced the meritorious candidates in the general category and has jeopardised their future immensely.

Besides, It was also brought into light by the counsel for the Petitioner, that the reservation in the higher education above 50% seats should not be allowed and is unconstitutional. The Reservation in speciality and super speciality courses above 50% is against the law and concept of merit and cannot be permitted.

The petitioner also stated in the petition, that till 2018 the reservation in State of Maharashtra was 52%. Thereafter, EWS reservation of 10% and Maratha reservation of 12% was added in 2019. The petitioners who had taken admission in MBBS in or before 2018 cannot be subjected to these additional reservation which came into force in 2019. This will be extremely unfair and a grave violation of principles of natural justice to the petitioners who admitted themselves in MBBS course under 52% reservation policy of the state with legitimate expectation to compete under 48% seats in PG

However they are forced to compete only under 26% seats for PG admissions due to subsequent reservation policy. The additional reservation is disadvantageous and should be made applicable to the students who have taken admission in MBBS in 2019 onward.

(By – Satyajit Pattanaik) 

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