[NEET PG 2021 EWS Reservation] "Rules of the game cannot be changed once the game has begun": Shyam Divan tells Supreme Court

  • Guatam Mishra
  • 05:47 PM, 05 Jan 2022

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan arguing for the OBC candidates submitted before the Supreme Court today that the quota given earlier was carved out for All India Quota (AIQ) by the top court, "various aspects are involved, any variation ought to be done by an appropriate application before this court only and not by administrative order. Rules of the game cannot be changed belatedly."

A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna presiding over the urgent hearing of the matter said, "Mr Solicitor, we had said that you'll revisit the criteria, if we are sitting in this combination we'll have to give an opportunity to Mr. Datar and Mr. Divan and then we can hear you tomorrow."

The bench was hearing the plea challenging the amended reservation(s) policy by the Government of India wherein a decision was taken to provide 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in AIQ scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses (MBBS / MD/ MS/ Diploma/ BDS/ MDS) from current academic year 2021-22 onwards.

Later, the Supreme Court had stayed the NEET PG Counselling for the year 2021, in connection to which the Resident Doctors are currently protesting.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had requested an urgent hearing of the matter. Mehta submitted today that "the notification regarding the EWS quota is since 2019, this has been implemented throughout the country, we are at a stage that counseling is struck, we need Doctors, society cannot right now go into lengthy arguments."

Mehta further added that, "Let us go ahead with the counseling, then we can decide. The Court can then hear the matter and we'll continue."

However, the bench allowed Senior Advocates Arvind Datar and Shyam Divan appearing for the petitioners to conclude their arguments today itself.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan submitted that, "The scheduled examination was in February 2021, then was postponed by 4 months, later, the new date of examination was 11 September, and then results were declared 28th September 2021, the impugned announcement comes after the notification of the examination on 29th July 2021, which is 5 months after the process started."

Divan further added that "Merely having an order, is not the right way to go about it, it cannot nullify the order of this court."

Whereas Senior Advocate Arvind Datar submitted that "This particular criterion is applied all across India, this will apply to all institutions, without any study."

In addition to this Datar further submitted that "The basis for 8 Lakhs, is completely arbitrary, their justification is that the amount goes up to 8 Lakhs in view of various deductions in income tax."

Earlier, The Central Government had informed the Supreme Court that they have accepted the recommendations made by the Committee stating that the feasible criterion for defining Economically Weaker Section (EWS) can be based on family income, and a threshold of Rs 8 lakhs of annual family income, in the current situation is reasonable for determining EWS.

Case Title: Neil Nunes, Madhura Kavishwar Vs Union of India