The Madhya Pradesh High Court stayed the state government’s ordinance increasing reservation for other backward classes (OBC) category.
The state government had issued an ordinance on March 8 increasing the reservation in the OBC category to 27 percent from the earlier 14 percent.
In its justification, the government said that as OBCs comprise around 52% of the total population of the state, therefore an increase in their quota was necessary to safeguard interests of the community.
A division bench issued in an interim order on a petition filed by MBBS students who had appeared for NEET 2019 for admissions to postgraduate medical courses, challenging the state government’s ordinance on grounds that it breached provisions of Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India.
The government’s move was violative of the 50 percent cap on the reservation, as it led to the reservation in the state reaching 63 percent, the petitioners argued.
Besides 14 percent quota to OBCs, Madhya Pradesh currently offers 16 percent reservation to scheduled castes (SC) and 20 percent to scheduled tribes (ST).
The court directed the government not to provide reservation of more than 14 percent for the OBC category in admissions made to colleges.
The high court has also served a notice to the state’s department of medical education, seeking its reply on the matter.