SC permits Tamil Nadu Govt. to implement "50% in-service quota" for super-specialty seats; for the current academic year in NEET-SS

SC permits Tamil Nadu Govt. to implement "50% in-service quota" for super-specialty seats; for the current academic year in NEET-SS

In accordance with a 2020 government order, the constitutionality of which is currently being contested in the Supreme Court, the division bench of the Supreme Court on Friday permitted the Tamil Nadu government to reserve 50% of the super specialty seats available in the current academic year in government medical colleges for NEET-qualified in-service doctors. The State Government is to swiftly complete the process of allocating seats in accordance with the order within a window of 15 days, and then immediately provide information regarding the seats that remain vacant to the Union of India so that it may fill the vacancies in accordance with the all-India merit list. The Bench made up of Justices B.R. Gavai and Vikram Nath, issued this direction.

The Tamil Nadu government explained to the Bench that allocating 50% of the seats to in-service candidates "needed to serve in rural areas" would increase access to high-quality healthcare, particularly for residents of the state's remotest areas, and "strengthen its health infrastructure."

However, the Additional Solicitor-General emphasized that super specialty courses have never had a reservation policy like that. Bhati argued that the subject should be heard in its whole and decided "on its merits" before any orders were given because it was "a very critical issue for the nation." She also noted that in the previous election, the state government was unable to fill 90 of the 210 seats designated for in-service candidates."Super speciality seats of medical education are critical for the nation. This is creating a chaotic situation across the country. How can Tamil Nadu, with the maximum number of seats, be allowed the reserve half the seats?"

In order to prevent reserved seats from lying vacant, the Bench directed, "…the state government to fill in the seats reserved on the basis of the government order within a period of 15 days from today. On the 16th day from today, the state of Tamil Nadu will inform the Union of India with regard to all seats that remain unfilled from the in-service category. These seats can be filled by the Union of India on the basis of all-India merit list."

The main writ petition was also scheduled for hearing on February 14, 2023 by the court.


Case Title: N. Karthikeyan & Ors. v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors.

Citation: WP (C) No. 53/2022





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