KM Nataraj, Additional Solicitor General conveyed to a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud that, ‘counselling will not start till we decide on the issue’.
SC had asked the Centre to explain what exercise was undertaken by it to fix annual income eligibility of Rs 8 lakh for the EWS category, in the hearing of pending matter last week.
Arvind Datar, Senior Advocate on Monday informed the bench that the dates for counselling had been fixed. “They have issued a complete schedule starting from 24 October and ending on the 29 October. That would mean everything is over,” he told the court.
“This notice that you have got hold of was meant for just the colleges for the purpose of verification of seats”, explained by ASG Nataraj.
Advocate Datar pointed out that he had got the information from the Directorate General of Health Services.
‘It will take his word that the counselling will not start until the court decides the petitions’, told by the bench to ASG.
ASG responded that the court can do so and added, “MrDatar can directly contact me if there is any difficulty.”
SC’s query is significant as the One Hundred and Third Constitutional Amendment of 2019, which introduced the 10% EWS quota, is itself under challenge before a larger Bench.
The Amendment is under question for making economic criterion as the sole ground for grant of reservation benefits.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by NEET aspirants challenging a July 29 notification of the Centre announcing 27% quota to OBCs and 10% reservation to EWS in the All India Quota category starting from 2021-22 academic session.
Source – The Indian Express and The Hindu.