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The on Friday, in an interim order, allowed resumption of medical counselling for NEET-PG admissions for the year 2021-22 and upheld the validity of 27 per cent other backward classes (OBC) quota.

A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna said that detailed reasons for the interim order will follow, and the counselling for the NEET-PG for the academic year 2021-22 will proceed as per the criteria already notified.

“Counselling on the basis of NEET-PG 2021 and NEET-UG 2021 shall be conducted by giving effect to the reservation as provided in the notice dated July 29, 2021, including the 27 per cent reservation for the OBC category and 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) category in the All India Quota seats,” the Bench said.

It said the submissions which have been made before this court over a span of two days necessitates a detailed interim order on the applicability of the EWS criteria as not­ified by Office Mem­ora­ndum of 2019 for NEET-PG 2021.

“The formulations of the reasons in the interim order on the EWS reservation would take some time. The validity of OBC reservation in the All India quota seats in NEET-PG and NEET-UG is upheld for reasons to follow,” it said.

“We accept the recommendation of the Pandey committee that the criteria which have been stipulated in Office Memorandum (OM) of 2019 be used for 2021-22 in order to ensure that the admission process is not dislocated. The criteria for the determination of EWS notified by OM of 2019 shall be used for identifying the EWS category of candidates who appeared for NEET-PG 2021 and NEET-UG 2021 examinations,” the bench added.

The Bench said that the validity of the criteria determined by the Pandey committee for identification of EWS would prospectively for the future be subject to the final result of the petitions. “The petition shall be listed for final hearing on the validity of EWS criteria as recommended by the Pandey committee in the third week of March, 2022. Reasons shall follow.”

During the two consecutive day hearing which started on Wednesday, the Centre had told the apex court that the introduction of OBC and EWS reservations after the issuance of NEET-PG exam notification does not amount to ‘changing the rules of the game’ midway.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, had submitted that the submission of petitioners that OBC reservation is unconstitutional is legally unsustainable.

Mehta said the decision was arrived at after due deliberation by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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