The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the resumption of counselling for NEET PG and UG courses for 2021-2022 by upholding the constitutional validity of the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class and 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Section as laid down in 2019 with the Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria.
The Court will decide on the income criteria ahead of the final hearing on March 3, 2022. The bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice A.S. Bopanna heard the matter.
Justice Chandrachud said:
“We have upheld the validity of OBC. In EWS, we’ve upheld the criteria for this year so that the admissions are not dislocated for the current academic year. We will hear the petition with respect to to the EWS criteria later.”
He said the court accepted the Pandey Committee report. The counselling for NEET PG and UG will take place in consonance with the notification as given effect, Justice Chandrachud added.
Now, the Apex Court would specifically examine the feasibility of having Rs 8 lakh as a cap to avail the EWS quota for PG medical admissions as laid down by the Pandey Committee. The court said it would examine the rationale of Rs 8 lakh income criteria for EWS category in March-April 2022.
On Thursday, Justice Chandrachud remarked that the court had been hearing this matter for two days, and said counselling should start in national interest.
The Apex Court heard the arguments of the petitioners represented by Senior Advocates Arvind Datar, Shyam Divan and P Wilson.
On July 29, 2021, the Centre and the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) came up with a notification to provide 27 per cent reservation to OBC and 10 per cent to EWS students in all India quota medical seats.
The resident doctors are protesting against the delay in NEET PG counselling, which was scheduled from October 25, 2021.
The Apex Court had deferred the counselling until further notice.
Read the order below19820_2021_34_1501_32344_Judgement_07-Jan-2022