Published: 27th July 2022
Supreme Court lists EWS reservation matter for hearing on August 2
The Supreme Court is set to decide on the validity of the criteria to qualify under the EWS category, whose 10% reservation in the NEET PG AIQ is being challenged by a few aspirants
The Supreme Court will hear petitions challenging the EWS reservation in the 50% All India Quota of the NEET PG counselling on August 2. A Bench, led by Justice DY Chandrachud, has listed the matter for hearing on August 2. The case was filed by a group of NEET PG aspirants in 2021, claiming that the 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and the 27% reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories was disadvantageous to "meritorious" students.
During hearings for the case last year, which left the NEET PG 2021 counselling suspended for four months after the results were released, the Supreme Court noted that while the reservation was pragmatic, the criteria for the EWS category being the same as that of the OBC category (family annual income less than Rs 8 lakh was questionable). Justice Chandrachud told the Centre that they cannot just pull numbers out of thin air.
A committee was then formed to review the matter and the Centre was asked to file an affidavit explaining the rationale behind the 8 lakh-limit. With students protesting for the NEET PG 2021 counselling to begin, Supreme Court declared that the reservation was constitutionally valid and allowed for the counselling to be conducted by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) from January 12.
Since then, the Supreme Court has been listing the matter to decide on the validity of the EWS criteria for hearing in March, April, July and now in August this year.
The NEET PG 2022 results were announced on June 1 and students have been speculating whether the lack of judgement in this matter has delayed the counselling once again. The MCC has now informed that the NEET PG 2022 counselling will begin on September 1.