New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that there can be no reservation in appointment for faculty posts in speciality and super speciality courses in medical colleges including the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
A five-judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said it cannot take a contrary view expressed in 1992 by a nine-judge bench in the Indra Sawhney case, also known as the Mandal case, that there could be no compromise with merit at the super speciality stage.
"We cannot take a different view, even though it has been suggested that such an observation (of Mandal verdict) was not binding, being obiter in nature.
"We cannot ascribe to such a view since the very concept of reservation implies mediocrity and we will have to take note of the caution indicated in Indra Sawhney`s case," the bench also comprising justices S S Nijjar, Ranjan Gogoi, M Y Eqbal and Vikramajit Sen said in a unanimous judgement.
Referring to various judgements including that of the Mandal case, it said, "We impress upon the Central and State Governments to take appropriate steps in accordance with the views expressed in Indra Sawhney`s case and in this case, as also the other decisions referred to above, keeping in mind the provisions of Article 335 (claims of SC/ST to service and posts) of the Constitution."
The court pronounced its verdict on the plea of the Faculty Association of AIIMS against a Delhi High Court judgement.
The Faculty Association had contended that there cannot be any reservation for faculty posts to speciality and super speciality faculty courses in AIIMS.
AIIMS and the Centre had however taken a contrary stand and had pleaded that the reservation be given to SC/STs and Backward classes candidates in appointment to assistant professors and other senior posts in speciality and super speciality courses.