Article 371 D not for Super Speciality Courses, counselling as per NEET: Hyderabad HC
Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court judgment delivered on Thursday, has given a new lease of life to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh students, applying for PG medicine and Super Specialty seats. This has been done by giving the courses an All India Medical Services character and hence waiving aside article 371 D in the process of filling them.This leads to opening of the All India admission doors to students of the two regions, through the ongoing NEET Counselling.
In a significant judgment, the Court, on Thursday, held that the Presidential Order, stemming from Article 371-D(forty years old) of the Constitution, brought in to protect the rights of domicile students, in education and employment in backward regions, particularly Telangana, was now turning into a liability for medical aspirants of AP and Telangana. It directed the central authorities not to be daunted by this provision while counselling for admissions to super-specialty medicine courses as per the NEET-2017.
"You can allot students from other states to the medical colleges in AP and Telangana through your common counselling. As a consequence, you have to withdraw your order, dated August 18, 2017, preventing the selected students from AP and Telangana from taking admissions in other states. Allow them to join the courses for which they were granted ad mission", the bench of Justice T Rajani and Justice V Ramasubramanian guiding the central authorities stated.
The Court also vacated the stay imposed earlier, on the taking in of outside students into AP and Telangana colleges.
"We will decide the relevance of 371-D in view of the bifurcation of the state in the final hearing to be started from September 11," the bench said.
The Court’s direction in this regard makes the interim order applicable only to the super-specialty medicine seats and not for the MBBS and BDS admissions.
The bench delivered the above interim order in response to two batches of petitions filed by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh students, who were distressed about being disallowed to seek admission in medical colleges outside the two regions. A decision that was taken earlier, by the Hyderabad High Court, on citing Article 371-D and upholding the right of the two states to allow all super specialty seats to students enjoying domicile of the two regions; barring all outside admissions. The Court order acted as a hindrance for NEET counselling, in the two regions.
In fact, this was done after the Hyderabad High Court, citing Article 371-D, upheld the two states' right to allow all the super-speciality seats, only to their students, and not to outsiders. The court’s decision was followed by that of the central authorities, which then issued an order refraining students from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh from taking admissions in colleges outside the two states.This order, further hampered NEET counselling in the two states reports the TOI.
However, while undoing the above, earlier, order the Hyderabad High Court cited a Supreme Court observation in a relevant case which went as follows:
"Playing with merit in respect of PG medicine seats to pamper local feeling will boomerang"
Even seen from the point of view of the Telugu students, they might gain a few seats by virtue of the Article 371-D in their states, but they now stood the risk of losing 10 times more seats available to them all over the country, the bench observed.
Writing for the bench, Justice Ramasubramanian in his Thursday's order stated:
371-D and the Presidential Order were never made applicable to All India Services. With their latest regulations brought in 2010, 2012 and in 2017, the Indian Medical Council Act has transformed the PG medicine and super-speciality seats into All India Medical Services and, hence 371-D cannot be applied to the process of filling them