• On 11 June 2020, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a batch of pleas by Political parties from Tamil Nadu, seeking to restrain the Centre from proceeding with all India counselling for Under Graduate and Post Graduate medical courses. Right to Reservation is not a Fundamental Right says Supreme Court
• A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S Ravindra Bhat dismissed the petitions
What did the petitioners want?
• The petitions challenged the Centre’s decision not to grant 50 % reservation to OBC (other backward class) candidates in medical seats surrendered by Tamil Nadu in all-India quota.
• Under Articles 32, they sought directions to the Centre to implement 50% OBC quota in seats surrendered by the state in the all-India quota for undergraduate and post-graduate medical and dental courses for 2020-21.
The bench observed that no case was made out for the petitioners to approach the top court directly under Article 32.
“Whose fundamental rights are being violated? Article 32 is obtainable only for violation of fundamental rights. We assume you are all interested in fundamental rights of the citizens of Tamil Nadu state of India. But right to reservation is not a fundamental right,”
In a ruling in February too, the SC had held there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in public jobs and no court can order a state to provide for reservation to SC/STs.
Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) empower the State to make reservations
Article 16 – Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.
No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.
3 Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any lEnui! prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of India, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment.
Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class (BC) of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State.
Reservation in Tamil nadu
• In Tamil Nadu, there is 69% reservation for OBCs (other backward class), SC (backward class)and ST (Scheduled Tribes)and within this, OBC (other backward class) reservations are about 50%.
• The petitions said 50% of other backward class candidates must get admissions in the medical colleges out of seats surrendered under the all India quota. Right to Reservation is not a Fundamental Right says Supreme Court