On Thursday, the Delhi High Court observed that the reservation quote provision under Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India is long overdue. The High Court sought response from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) while addressing a petition opposing its reservation policy that reserved 80% seats for female nurses (Harish Kumar Kajla & Ors vs AIIMS &Ors).
A notice was issued in the petition brought by three male aspirants that had applied for the positions of nurses at AIIMS, by a division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh. The Court dismissed the request for interim relief in this matter at the current stage and stated “Needless to state that any appointments made to the subject posts shall abide with further orders that may be passed in the present proceedings.”
The Central Administrative Tribunal’s judgment that rejected the petitioners’ plea is now being challenged in the High Court. The petition includes prayers regarding the alleged “lopsided” gender reservation.
The petitioners argued that the reservation policy of AIIMS is not in accordance with the 50% overall ceiling contemplated for reservation in public employment. They also submitted that the intelligible nexus between object and the classification is lacking since there exists no relation between patient care and the gender of the nurse. Additionally, the petitioners claim that this reservation policy is ultra vires the AIIMS Act, 1956 since it was framed excluding the amendment to AIIMS Regulations of 1999 that only makes provisions for reservation in favour of SC/ST applicants.
The petitioners were represented by Advocate Santhish Krishnan and Sayid Marzook Bafaki and the counsel appearing for AIIMS was Advocate Anand Varma. The next decided date for hearing the matter is 22nd February.