Medical Admissions 2020-21

Medical Admissions 2020-21

Medical aspirants must complete both Xth & XIIth from state

PUBLISH DATE 27th July 2018

In a landmark verdict that sets to rest the medical admission chaos of recent years, the Bombay high court on Thursday held that the state government was empowered to make it mandatory for aspirants to the 85% state quota seats in undergraduate medical courses to not only be domiciled here but also have completed both Class X and XII from the state.

The high court held the new eligibility rules to be constitutionally valid and enforceable in the ongoing admission process to both government and private medical colleges for the 2018-19 academic year. The verdict by a bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre clears the path for the state to proceed with admissions under these eligibility rules but displaces 31 students who were granted admission in the state quota after a June 15 order of the Nagpur bench of the HC.

Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) director Pravin Shingare said the process of filling preference forms for medical admission concluded on Thursday.

Medical college admissions are done on the basis of the NEET merit list. Of the total seats, 85% are for students from Maharashtra and the other 15% are filled through an all-India quota.

HC says med admission rules don’t fall foul of constitutional mandate

The June 15 Nagpur bench order allowing admission to the 31 students had relied on a notice issued by state Common Entrance Test (CET) cell that let students seek admission in the state quota even if they had completed their Class X from other states.

The state had said on July 7 that these admissions would be on an interim basis pending the final order.

On Thursday, the high court bench in Mumbai declined a plea by advocate Pooja Thorat to allow these students to hold on to their state quota seats for at least two days to enable a challenge before the Supreme Court. State advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni opposed any interim relief to students once the rules were held valid. The bench agreed.

The high court said that if any relief were granted now it would put the students who genuinely qualify for state quota seats to “immense hardship”.

The high court did not agree with a bunch of students from across the state who had petitioned the court to challenge these rules as being discriminatory and violative of their right to a seat in the state quota. Most of them had done their Class X from outside the state but completed their Class XII from here.

The high court, which heard the matter at length over the past few days, said the state’s “rules do not fall foul of the constitutional mandate” when tested for reasonableness. The fundamental right to equality permits reasonable classification and prohibits discrimination. The classification made by the state has nexus with its larger objective. The bench agreed with Kumbhakoni that these rules were made to “protect the interest of the state’’.

A few hundred students also petitioned the court through two interveners in support of the state rules. Their counsel, Mukesh Vashi, argued that other states like Gujarat have similar rules which the high court there has upheld.

The state CET cell had acted without proper authority when it said students who had done their Class X outside the state could join the admission process, argued the state later.

The HC in its final judgment slammed the CET cell chief and said that the “complete lack of coordination” is what has landed the students in court where lengthy arguments proceeded for days, “all of which could have been avoided”.

The medical education secretary informed the court that he was unaware of developments in Nagpur. The HC in its verdict said it hoped that “at least now there’s improvement’’ and the medical education secretary takes “entire responsibility and monitor” the working of the directorate of medical education and research or create a cell to monitor it.

Director of medical education Dr Pravin Shingare said the state’s lawyer in Nagpur was neither authorised nor instructed by the department to make any concession in rules.

“The provisional admission of the 31 candidates who did not fulfil all the three eligibility criteria will be cancelled and those seats will be added to the pool of vacancies,” he said. “We will request the state CET cell to put up the second round of merit list on Friday, after adding these 31 seats.”

He added that there could be around 180-200 seats vacant for the second round. He added that the fresh merit list will also delete the names of the 170 other candidates who had done their SSC from outside the state.

The bench, which dictated its verdict in open court, relied on judgments of the Supreme Court as well as of the Punjab and Haryana high court come to the state’s aid.

Sudha Shenoy, a parents’ representative, said: “This was a landmark judgement and was very much needed..”

( Inputs from Yogita Rao)

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