The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a part of a Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling that required states to grant 3 percent rather than 1 percent of medical and dental seats to persons with sports-related disabilities.
According to the ruling, the Punjab government lost its appeal against the High Court’s common judgement of 2019 mandating the creation of a notification allowing a sports quota of 3%, opposed to the executive’s 1% in state-run medical and dental institutions.
In this case, the High Court ordered the state to provide free medical and dental care to “children and grandchildren of terrorists/Sikh rioters at all non-minority private hospitals in the state”.
As part of the plan, terrorists and rioters were given priority for management positions. A bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna upheld the High Court’s decision to raise the sports quota in government medical and dental colleges from 1% to 3%, but not the other aspect of the ruling.
Having received the 1% quota from the state, the reservation is now being considered an “academic” one for those with links to terrorists or riot victims.
The order of the High Court directing that government medical and dental colleges in Punjab be allowed to have a sports quota of 3% has now been reverted and set aside, the judgment continued.
In its writ of mandamus, the High Court directed the State Government to provide for three reservations instead of one percent for sportspersons. Citing numerous high court rulings on the matter, the bench emphasized, “[A] court cannot order the state government to provide reservations.”
Sportsmen were given a 1% reservation by the State Government. The High Court’s “unsustainable” ruling has been overturned by a 20-page decision that says that it acted overstepping its jurisdiction when it ordered the State to provide a certain percentage of seats to sportspeople.
A deliberate policy choice was made by the state government to provide only 1% reservation/quota for sportspersons, according to Justice Shah. There have been previous petitions in the high court challenging the government’s announcement of 2019 which included “1% reserved for athletes, 1% reserved for children and grandchildren of terrorists, and 1% reserved for children and grandchildren of Sikh riot victims.”
Consequently, there has been an increase from 1% to 3% in the sports quota.