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Kerala High Court dismisses NEET PG candidates challenge to 27% SEBC reservation in State

The petitioners had approached the Court challenging a recent revision in the number of seats reserved to various categories for admission to PG medical courses in the State that, according to them, violated constitutional norms.

There are a total of 833 seats for PG courses out of which 427 seats are filled up from the rank list prepared by the Commissioner of Entrance Exams. Until last year, in Kerala, 9 per cent of these seats were reserved for SEBC candidates.

However, on October 20, 2021, the Kerala government issued a Government Order (GO) revising the reservation pattern by introducing a 10 per cent reservation for service quota and increasing the SEBC reservation from 9 per cent to 27 per cent.

According to the petitioners, this supposedly decreases the merit seats for general candidates to 38 per cent once the reservation for other classes including disabled persons are taken into consideration.

The petition, filed through advocate S Sujin, pointed out that the Supreme Court has held in various decisions that at the specialised (PG) level that reservations have to be minimal.

The primary contention raised by the petitioners was that the the new GO goes against the letter and spirit of Supreme Court decisions particularly those cases holding that such reservations would be detrimental to national interest and lead to the dilution of merit at the speciality level.

Moreover, it was pointed out that the new GO offered no details or reasons for increasing the reservation for the SEBCs.

It was claimed that the situation in Kerala is unique when compared to other states as SEBC candidates secure seats within the merit quota as well, and are adequately represented.

The petitioners, therefore, sought quashing of the GO and for directions to be issued to the respondents to prepare the selection list for admission to PG courses for the year 2020-21 unfettered by the same.

Source: Barandbench

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