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NEET All India Quota:Application filed in the Supreme Court seeking to declare the 103 Constitution

- Malaika Kadam

A writ petition filed by Dr. Neil Aurelio Nunes, which questioned the revised reservation policy in the AIQ category scheme by the Union Government for medical and dental courses, has led to the filing of an application in the Supreme Court, and declaration of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act 2019, by which the policy has been amended, and Rs. 8 lakh per annum income limit for EWS category, as unconstitutional has been sought. The application has been filed through Dubey Law Associates.

It has been stated in the application that the said Act is not in conformity with a large number of Supreme Court judgments and is contravening with the basic structure of the Constitution. It was argued that the ‘width’ and identify’ of equality provisions as given in the case of M. Nagaraj & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors. (2006) 8 SCC 2012, are getting affected by the amendment made.

It has been claimed by the applicants that the Constitutional norm that reservation can never be only on the basis of economic criterion, which was also observed in the case of Indra Sawhney V. Union of India [1992 Supp (3) SCC 217] under, has been entirely contravened by the aforementioned Act.

By relying on the Apex Court judgments in Maneka Gandhi V. Union of India (1978) 1 SCC 248, I.R. Coelho (Dead) by LRs. V. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. (2007) 2 SCC 1 and Shayara Bano V. Union of India & Ors. (2017) 9 SCC 1, it has been contended that the expulsion of the OBCs and the SCs/STs from the purview of economic reservation, significantly suggests that only the poor from the general category would be able to utilize the advantages of the quotas by the way of the impugned Act, and considered this as the infringement of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The Rs. 8 Lakhs per annum limit has been claimed to be unconstitutional by the applicants as the decision to set such limit is apparently arbitrary, as the income tax exemption limit if Rs. 5 Lakhs in India, and has been taken without any basis.

The applicants also stated, "Notice dated 29.07.2021 issued by the Medical Counselling Committee, inter alia provides that reservation of 10% to EWS will be given as per Central Government norms. It is submitted that in absence of any detailed norms, the criteria of Rupees Eight Lakh per annum to determine the EWS category is legally flawed and unconstitutional,".

It has also been contended that the expression “Economically Weaker Section” has not been defined in the Amendment Act, and this will lead to ambiguity in the definition of EWS, thus, making the said Act illicit and inoperable.

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