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SC refuses to entertain plea challenging Maratha quota in PG medical colleges


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea challenging a Bombay High Court order which dismissed a petition against 16 per cent quota for Marathas in admission to postgraduate medical and dental courses.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai said the admission process ended on June 17 and it cannot pass any order on the plea.

"We are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order passed by the High Court as the admission process for the academic year 2019-20 has concluded on 17th June, 2019. The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed," the bench said.

The apex court, however, said, "We, however, clarify that we have not commented on the question of validity of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 which is the subject matter of challenge before the Bombay High Court in a group of writ petition(s), in which judgment has been reserved. Pending applications shall also stand disposed of."     The Maharashtra Legislative Council had earlier unanimously cleared a bill to provide reservation to Maratha community in postgraduate medical courses.

The state government had earlier promulgated an ordinance to amend the SEBC Reservation Act, 2018 to provide 16 per cent reservation to Maratha students in PG medical courses.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the petitioners, contended that the high court did not consider the matter in view of the apex court order of June 4, wherein it restrained any other court from entertaining any plea related to admission to PG medical courses.

He said the SEBC Act which came into force on November 30, 2018 is itself under challenge.

The petition filed by one Sameer had challenged the Bombay High Court order of June 13 by which it had refused to entertain the plea against the Maharashtra government's ordinance and claimed that the ordinance was contrary to the law laid down by the apex court and deserved to be set aside. 

The petitioner claimed that due to the apex court's two orders of June 4 and June 10, the Nagpur bench of the high court refused to entertain the petition challenging the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the State and for appointments in public services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2019.

The petition said, "In the case at hand the impugned ordinance is clearly an attempt to nullify the judgement passed by the high court and as upheld by the Supreme Court thereby holding the provisions of the SEBC Act, 2018, inapplicable to the current academic year for, the admission process with respect to PG Medical Courses which has already commenced prior to the implementation of the Act."         

It said the impugned ordinance is thus contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court and deserves to be set aside.

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