Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for a bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramna and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, noted that the matter was related to admission to postgraduate medical courses and that students were facing difficulties.
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“This concerns the EWS of the community. We have issued a statement that prevents further counseling of resident doctors,” the law official submitted, for an urgent hearing on the matter. “Resident doctors are protesting and their concerns are true.” The CJI said, “The problem is that this is a three-judge bench, this whole week is a different week. Let me see, tomorrow, if some judges are available, we will form a bench. Let me see. If possible, I, the three-judge bench.” Will form or go to the division bench tomorrow. ” The CJI said the first week after the winter break was a miscellaneous week and so, no other three-judge bench was found except one headed by him.
On Monday, a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachur told the Center that the CJI could constitute a bench of necessary strength as the EWS quota issue is being heard by a three-judge bench.
The Center, through the Solicitor General, also referred the matter for an emergency hearing on Monday.
“As soon as today’s work is over, I will make a request to CJI NV Ramna to list the cases,” Justice Chandrachud said.
Large-scale protests have been held in Delhi and other parts of the country under the banner of the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) over the delay in NEET-PG counseling by residential doctors at various hospitals due to delays. The Center has decided to reconsider the criteria for setting EWS quotas.
In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the Center said it had decided to accept the recommendation of a three-member panel to keep the current total annual household income limit of Rs 8 lakh or less to determine the economically weaker section (EWS).
The government further told the court that according to the panel, the family income is a “probable criterion” for defining EWS and in the present circumstances, the threshold of Rs 8 lakh per annum for determining EWS seems reasonable.
In an affidavit filed in NEET-PG regarding the admission, the center said that the panel recommended that “only those families with an annual income of up to Rs 8 lakh would be eligible for EWS protection”.
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