The Supreme Court has held that there can be no reservation in the 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 constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir pronounced its verdict on a plea of the Faculty of Association of AIIMS against a Delhi high court judgement.

The association had contended that there cannot be reservation for faculty posts to speciality and super speciality faculty courses in AIIMS.

The court said it cannot take a contrary view expressed in 1992, in the Indra Sawhneys case (Mandal), that there could be no compromise with merit at the super speciality stage.

We cant ascribe to such a view as the very concept of reservation implies mediocrity. We will have to take note of the caution indicated in Indra Sawhneys case, the bench comprising justices SS Nijjar, Ranjan Gogoi, MY Eqbal and Vikramajit Sen said in a unanimous judgement.

The bench disagreed with the contention of AIIMS and the Centre that 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.

Referring to various judgements, including that of the Mandal case, it said: We impress upon the… governments to take appropriate steps in accordance with the views expressed in Indra Sawhneys case and in this case… keep in mind the provisions of Article 335 (claims of SC/ST to service and posts) of the Constitution.

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