Conduct Fresh Round of Counselling in Maharashtra: PG Medical Candidates move Supreme Court
New Delhi: A group of PG medical students have moved the Supreme Court seeking a fresh counselling round following the re-shuffling of merit list for PG medical and dental admissions for this academic year after the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) was scrapped in Maharashtra by the apex court.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and M R Shah, which was reluctant initially to hear the fresh plea, agreed to hear it.
Medical Dialogues has recently reported that the Supreme Court had held that 10 per cent quota for EWS students cannot be applied to PG medical admissions in Maharashtra for this academic year as admission process has started long before the provision came into force.
The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill on providing 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to the general category poor was passed by Parliament on January 9.
On the part of increasing seats in view of EWS reservation implementation, last month, taking a cue from the Ministry of Health regarding bringing of 10 per cent EWS quota in PG medical seats at government medical colleges across the country, the MCI had written to the various state governments and medical colleges asking them to provide preliminary details for the same.
However, 10 per cent reservations in the general category for the EWS in medical courses in Maharashtra had been challenged in the Bombay High Court by many students. The petitioners contended that the decision is discriminatory as it takes the overall reservation to 76 per cent, leaving very few seats for remaining students in the open category.
Later, in response to a plea filed by a student from General Category saying that unless additional seats are created, the ten per cent EWS quota will eat into their share of seats, the Apex court noted that admission process for PG medical courses started in November 2018 while the 103 Constitutional amendments granting 10 per cent EWS quota was passed in January this year.
In pursuance of the SC order, the Maha CET had issued a notice. The top court had taken strong note of a clause c which stated, "The admissions of all the candidates (except those admitted under EWS Category) from the previous admission process are not disturbed."
The state government had said there was little time left as the last date of counselling for admissions was ending on May 31 and therefore, it was not possible for the government to reshuffle the entire admission list.
Noticing the non-compliance of its order, the apex court bench irked and threatened the State of contempt proceedings.
“We will issue contempt proceedings against Commissioner and Competent Authority of the state CET Cell and other officers. You (state) are virtually overriding the interim order passed by this court (on May 30),”
Now, with the apex court agreeing to hear the fresh pleas on the matter, the hearing will be held today. One of the fresh pleas said that "new seat matrix", "fresh choice filing of medical streams" and "fresh round of counselling for admissions" should be allowed in view of the fact that the apex court has stayed the 10 per cent quota to students of EWS in the courses for the current academic year, reports PTI.
TOI reports that the petitioners claimed the SC order directed the Maha CET cell to conduct the entire counselling procedure again. Since the SC scrapped the 10% EWS quota on May 30, the seat matrix in colleges changed.
In a letter to the state’s CET cell, students said fresh choice filling be allowed, including for those who have retained their seats as well as the ones whose admissions were cancelled. They even said when the Maratha quota was scrapped, a fresh merit list was released with the new seat matrix. Students asked for a fresh process post EWS cancellation too.
Anand Rayate, the Commissioner of Maha CET Cell, told TOI that they did not have enough time to start counselling again as SC had extended the deadline for four days only. SC had slammed the state for failing to declare a new merit list post scrapping of EWS quota.
Another fresh plea has been filed some other medical students seeking restoration of 10 per cent EWS quota in admissions in the current academic session.