Thursday, December 3, 2009

[ZESTCaste] PG quota state’s call, says SC

PG quota state's call, says SC
New Delhi, Dec. 2: A state government has the discretion to disallow
reservation of seats for backward sections in post-graduate courses if
it deems fit, the Supreme Court has ruled.

"Article 15 (4) is an enabling provision and the state government is
the best judge to grant reservation for SC/ST/ OBC categories at the
post-graduate level," a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice
of India, K.G. Balakrishnan, said. "In our view, every state can take
its own decision with regard to reservation depending on various
factors," the bench said, adding that such a decision could not be
said to have been taken in perpetuity.

The decision could be reconsidered by a state government if the
circumstances warranted, it said.

The court was dealing with a petition filed by Dr Gulshan Prakash
against the Haryana government's decision not to allow reservations in
the entrance test for Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Surgery (MS),
post-graduate diploma and Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) in the state.

Under Article 15(4), states could, if they wanted, provide for
reservations by either a law or executive instructions at any level
for socially and educationally backward classes. On the scope of the
article, the court said preferential treatment could be given when
socially and educationally backward classes needed it.

"This article enables the state government to make provisions for the
uplift of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, including reservation of seats
for admission to educational institutions," the court said. "Article
15(4) does not make any mandatory provision for reservation and the
power to make such reservation under Article 15(4) is discretionary
and no writ can be issued to effect reservation. Such special
provision may be made not only by the legislature but also by the

The Haryana government had taken a decision on April 5, 1998, not to
have quotas for SC/STs at the post-graduate level. That decision was
communicated to the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate
Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, and the Maharshi Dayanand
University, also in Rohtak.

Dr Prakash challenged it as violative of Article 15(4) first in the
High Court where he lost on February 5, 2008. The prospectuses of the
medical colleges for the academic year 2009-2010 did not have
provisions for reservation at the post-graduate level.

He then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. His lawyers argued that
even in the All India Entrance Examination for post-graduate courses,
the government had made a provision for reservation for SC/ST
candidates. He argued that Haryana was bound to follow the same and
issue appropriate orders.

The apex court upheld the argument of the state that had considered
the recommendations of the Medical Council of India and precedents in
other states. These showed reservation for SC/STs in post-graduate
courses was neither feasible nor warranted.


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