Medical College Reservation in Context with Case Law Ajay Kumar Singh Vs. State Of Bihar Under Article 15

This article is written by Shifali, a student of BA LLB 2ND year in lovely professional university, Phagwara (Punjab). This article deals with reservations for backward classes in medical colleges.


Article 15 in The Constitution Of India 1949-

Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any Special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of Citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Reservation is a system in India that provides some special privileges to historically disadvantaged groups in the field of education, employment, scholarships etc.

Under this article, the state is providing some special rights or benefits to the weaker section of the society. The citizens who are socially and educationally backward, the state is providing them some special benefits and these benefits are known as reservations.

Reservation in medical colleges

Reservation in medical college means there is a quota fixed for socially and educationally backward class. when the students who are socially and educationally weaker are giving their medical related exam then there is some fix quota of marks for them. They are providing that if these students are getting less marks then also, they will get selected.

Like in NEET exam, the state is providing benefit of 27% to OBC (Other backward classes) and 10% reservation to EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) under All India quota scheme. Besides from these two sections, 15% seats are for SC (Scheduled Castes) and 7.5% are seats for ST (Schedule Tribe) & 5% for PwD (person with disablities).

Backward meaning as per law

Backward Classes are not defined anywhere in the Constitution of India. However, Article 340 empowers the President to appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of the socially and educationally backward classes. Based on the report of the Commission’s Inquiry Officer, the Chairman may determine who is to be considered as Backward Classes. A case related to this, In Balaji Vs. State of Mysore, Government of Mysore has issued a regulation under Article 15(4) reserving seats in Medical and Engineering Colleges of the State as follows – Backward Classes 28%, More Backward Classes 20%, Sc A ST 18%. So 68% seats were reserved and only 32% were released to the merit pool. The court held that the sub-classification made by the

order between the backward classes and the backward classes was not justified under Article 15(4). Backwardness, as the article assumes, must be both social and educational, not social or educational. Caste cannot be the only test for ascertaining backwardness. Poverty, employment, and place of residence are important factors and must be taken into account. However, the impugned order proceeds only on the basis of caste alone without regard to other factors and that is sufficient to render it invalid.

Why there is need of reservation?

To bring equality among all citizens.

Reservation is there in India to improve the past condition and to correct historical injustice against the backward classes in India.

To provide all the citizens with equal platform irrespective of their caste. Foremost need of reservation is to promote the backward classes.

Ajay Kumar Singh vs State of Bihar

Facts of the Case

In this case, state was providing the reservations under article 15 subsection 4 of the Constitution of India for postgraduate medical courses. The State of Bihar issued a prospectus relating to Postgraduate Medical Admission Test providing among other things reservation in favour of socially and educationally backward classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women. The percentages reserved for Scheduled Castes is 14%, Scheduled Tribes – 10%,for extremely backward classes is 14%, backward classes is 9% and for ladies is 3%. The appellants (ajay Kumar singh) questioned the aforesaid provision for reservation. It was said that the order of state government providing for reservations in postgraduate medical course is impermissible. This case includes the article 15(4), 16(1), 29 and more. to any office under the State.

Contention raised

Permissibility of providing reservation under article 15(4) of the Indian constitution in postgraduate medical courses. Reservation seats in this case are beyond the limits. It was raised that article 15(4) of indian constitution neither speaks nor permits reservation given in educational institutions.

Thus, The court gives the decision that the medium of instruction in higher education is a matter falling within the purview of “coordination and determination of standards in higher

education institutions” in entry 66 of list 1. Accordingly, it was held that the state legislature was not empowered to legislate in this regard. We do not see any conflict between the said decision and the decision in Nivedita Jain7.

In the said decision, it is pointed out that it has been held that in view of the Medical Council of India Act and the Regulations made by the Council, the order of the State Government providing for reservation in the post-graduate medical courses is inadmissible. It is submitted that the said decision has become final and therefore binding on the State of Bihar. However, this decision does not appear to have been brought to the notice of the Division Bench which passed the impugned decision. Since we have opined on the merits of the contention which is contrary to the ratio of the judgment in Vijay Kumar, it is not necessary to pursue this argument of the learned counsel.

At last, the appeals are dismissed.


Reservation in India plays a major role in India. Moreover, it has now become an integral part of Indian society, despite the fact that it has some criticism. It is for the welfare of the backward classes. The objective of the government was to uplift the backward classes in India as there were many disadvantages for these classes in the historical period.

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