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‘Unnecessary observations’: SC quashes Madras HC direction on EWS quota in NEET AIQ

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New Delhi, Sep 24: The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the Madras High Court’s observations that reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) in the NEET-All India Quota (AIQ) medical seats can be implemented only with the approval of top court’s Constitution bench.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and B.V. Nagarathna observed that the high court had made “unnecessary observations”. It noted that the high court was examining a contempt petition, which sought implementation of OBC reservation in NEET-AIQ, therefore observations on 10 percent EWS quota was transgression of its jurisdiction.

The Centre had moved the top court challenging the observations made by the Madras High Court. Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj, representing the Centre, contended that the high court should not have made the observation, while it was exercising its contempt jurisdiction.

The top court noted that after the high court found no contempt, it has gone into wider spectrum. “There the high court has really erred… when you are in contempt jurisdiction, you just need to see if the order has been complied or not,” it said.

The high court, through its August judgment, had dropped a contempt of court plea filed by the ruling DMK against Centre on implementing reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in AIQ medical college seats.

On Friday, DMK’s counsel submitted that the issue is “complicated”, and the Centre’s plea could be heard with other petitions challenging the EWS/OBC quota in the NEET-AIQ.

The high court had observed: “The additional reservation provided for economically weaker sections in the notification of July 29, 2021 cannot be permitted, except with the approval of the Supreme Court in such regard.” It had noted that the Constitution bench is examining the correctness of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, which provided reservation. Centre had moved the top court aggrieved with this observation.

The Supreme Court, however, clarified it is not saying anything on the merits of the EWS quota in NEET-AIQ, and it is only setting aside high court’s observation, as it transgressed the limits of contempt jurisdiction.

“We are not expressing opinion on the merits of the case since the points will arise in a bunch of petitions pending adjudication,” the bench noted.

The top court will continue to hear, on October 7, the petitions challenging the Centre’s notification to implement OBC, and EWS quota in NEET-AIQ.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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