The Supreme Court refused to permit reservation to doctors for admission in Super Specialty Medical Courses in Tamil Nadu and Kerala for the year 2020-21.
A Bench of Justices L. Nageshwar Rao, Hemant Gupta, and Ajay Rastogi said as the admission process was at the final stages, they cannot permit reservation for in-service doctors for this year and passed this order in a batch of petitions challenging the orders passed by the Kerala and Madras High Courts on this issue.
The matter before the apex court pertained to challenges made by Dr. Prerit Sharma and others to the legality of the Tamil Nadu government's November 07, 2020 decision to reserve 50% of the super-specialty seats in government medical colleges in the state for in-service candidates. The Bench, however, did not express any opinion on the validity of a Tamil Nadu government order of November 7, which allowed a 50 percent in-service quota in super-specialty medical courses at government colleges in the State.
In its order, the Court asserted that the process for admission to super-specialty medical courses started on August 3 and it was made clear to all the competing candidates that there shall be no reservation for these courses. The apex court order stated that the government order issued by the State of Tamil Nadu reserving 50 percent seats for in-service doctors would be detrimental to the interests of the meritorious doctors as 50 percent of the available seats in Tamil Nadu in Super Specialty Medical Courses will not be available to them. The bench refused to accept the argument that there would be no partiality if the order is implemented.
Furthermore, the court asserted that if there is a reduction of seats according to the government order, it would prove detrimental to worthy students. It reiterated that this direction would be operative only for the current academic year i.e 2020-21. The court did not delve into the question of law, saying it would hear it in detail in February 2021. Meanwhile, it said the admission process, which was in its final stages, would proceed this year without in-service reservation.