The verdict on the contempt of court petition filed by Chief Minister MK Stalin’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam (DMK) in the Madras High Court is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 25. The petition brings the Centre and the DMK to crossroads regarding the reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in medical seats under 1986 All India Quota (AIQ).
On July 30, 2021, the BJP-led central government reserved 27 per cent medical seats for the OBCs with an additional 10 per cent for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) after the High Court ordered that the OBCs were entitled to reservation in medical seats in the academic year 2021-22.
Challenging the centre’s decision, DMK filed a petition hinting at non-compliance with the Court’s order and demanded 50 per cent reservation for OBCs since almost all seats belong to the state-run colleges. After verbal bouts between Additional General KM Natraj, representing the Centre, and P Wilson, representing DMK, the bench led by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, and Justice PD Audikesavalu decided to deliver their decision on August 25.
The arguments presented by both representatives clashed on terms of central policy. While Wilson argued that the reservation must be 50 per cent for OBCs, 18 per cent for Scheduled Castes (SCs), and 1 per cent for Scheduled Tribes (STs), Natraj countered the argument stating that the Centre’s decision to impart 27 per cent reservation aligns with the central policy wherein the communal reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent under AIQ and that it will conflict the limit set by Supreme Court in the case of the Marathas. He also contended DMK’s move to consider it as a contempt of court. On August 18, the Centre ensured the Madras High Court that they will resolve the issue, asking for a week-long extension.
The OBC reservation for Tamil Nadu was set at 69 per cent based on the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes, as per the 1993 State Act.