Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said on Tuesday that he will endeavour to list petitions contesting the criteria for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota in the NEET-PG (All India Quota) for hearing on Wednesday, citing the Centre’s urgency.
However, the Supreme Court is only considering miscellaneous cases this week, and if the NEET case must be heard, the benches will have to be reconfigured. A three-judge bench has already heard the case.
“I have to constitute a special bench. Let me see tomorrow. This entire week is a miscellaneous (matters) week. Let me see if we can constitute a bench tomorrow,” the CJI told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who urged him to take it up at least Wednesday.
The SG then requested that it be listed if possible at least before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Chandrachud. The three-judge bench, which heard it previously, was also headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud.
“It concerns EWS of society. There’s a statement made by us which prevents further counselling of resident doctors…Resident doctors are protesting and their concerns are genuine,” the SG said as he highlighted the urgency.
“Let me see. If possible I will constitute a three-judge bench or it will go before a Division bench tomorrow,” added the CJI.
On the last date of hearing on November 25, 2011, the Supreme Court had fixed it for hearing next on January 6.
On Monday, too, the SG had taken up the matter with Justice Chandrachud and requested that it be heard Tuesday.
Justice Chandrachud said the CJI will have to take a call as the bench will have to be reconstituted and assured to discuss it with the CJI.
With the matter not being listed Tuesday, the SG once again approached the court with the request.
During the previous hearings, the SC had the Centre explain what exercise it had undertaken to arrive at Rs 8 annual income criteria for being eligible for the quota.
Responding to this, the Centre told the court on November 25, 2021, that it will revisit the criteria and sought four weeks time to complete the exercise.
On December 31, the government filed an affidavit in the SC stating that it has accepted the recommendation made by a committee set up by it and decided to retain the Rs 8 lakh for the current admission cycle.
From the following admission cycle onwards, recommendations on how to apply the income limit will be implemented.
The petitions are challenging the Medical Counseling Committee’s (MCC) announcement of July 29 that provided 27% reservation for other backward classes (OBCs) and 10% for economically weaker sections (EWS).