Chandigarh: The PG medical counselling at Government Medical College and Hospital Sector 32, Chandigarh (GMC Sector 32) that was supposed to have taken place on 24/4/2019 has now been postponed till further orders, in the light of the recent HC judgement on the matter of merit versus domicile reservation.
Confirmation to this effect was made by a recent notice issued by the Director Principal of the Hospital who added in the notice that the next counselling date will be notified on the GMCH website.
The postponement comes in the light of recent Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment where the bench had ruled the domicile condition for 32 PG medical seats at GMCH 32; as “invalid” and “unsustainable to law.”
There are a total of 128 PG medical seats at GMCH 32. Of which, 64 seats reserved under state quota are equally divided before this ruling, 32 were reserved under institutional preference pool for its own MBBS students and the rest 32 for those PG medical aspirants who are with Chandigarh background. The rest 64 PG medical seats are allotted in All India quota.
On the clauses pertaining to domicile for PG medical admissions, the court had observed,
“Since there is only one college in Chandigarh, the benefit flowing from such a clause would merge with that of the institutional preference, thereby upsetting the balance provided by a 50% cap intended for Institutional Preference. This clause is, therefore, fraught with inherent dangers…”
“..Second situation would be that a candidate might have studied for 5 years in UT, Chandigarh at any time prior to the last date of the submission of the application which would also mean studying from Kindergarden to Class V or for any other period for that purpose. This would hardly provide any rationale to the logic of claiming a seat for a post graduate course under the UT, Chandigarh pool…”
“Similarly, clause (b) reads an entitlement for those whose parents have resided in UT, Chandigarh for a period of 5 years at any point of time prior to the last date of submission of the application either in pursuit of a profession or in holding a job. This too does not offer any rationale to convert it into a preference for the simple reason that a person may have settled down in Chandigarh briefly for a period of 5 years and then departed…
…The absurdity of this stands out if we visualize a situation, of a person having come to Chandigarh possibly at the time when it was coming up in the 1950s and departed after spending 5 years only to return after a lapse of more than 60 years and claim a preference since he had spent 5 years in Chandigarh at some time and fulfills the condition of being a resident of this town “at any time prior to the last date of submission of the application.”
“Likewise, clause (c) also offers a similarly absurd situation of there being a case where a person has invested in property, may be at any point of time but choosing to give it up, and yet fulfilling the clause of owning a property for a period of 5 years at any time prior to the last of submission of the application”
Reaching its conclusion, the court took note of the SC’s verdict,
“The primary consideration in selection of candidates for admission to the medical colleges must, therefore, be merit. The object of any rules which may be made for regulating admissions to the medical colleges must be to secure the best and most meritorious students.’”
“Whether consistently with the constitutional values, admissions to a medical college or any other institution of higher learning situate in a State can be confined to those who have their ‘domicile’ within the State or who are residents within the State for a specified number of years or can any reservation in admission be made for them so as to give them precedence over those who do not possess ‘domicile’ or residential qualification within the State, irrespective of merit…”
Ultimately, providing relief to PG medicos and disposing off the petition, the HC bench held,
“We would, therefore, conclude that in the matters of admission to Post Graduate courses such a reservation/preference which has its foundations in a long discarded principle i.e domicile would be unsustainable. Besides, all the clauses that have been introduced in the brochure and discussed to describe a candidate with background of Chandigarh would be unsustainable in law as they have no rationale to the objects sought to be achieved even if we have to assume that such a preference was permissible in law.”
“We, therefore, strike down clause 2 (a) (b) and (c) of UT, Chandigarh Pool as being invalid and unsustainable in law. All admissions made by placing reliance on the above would as a logical corollary be also unsustainable. The only course available to the college is to fill up the seats through merit position obtained by candidates in NEET examination. Petitions stand disposed of in above terms.”