Karnataka: Supreme Court refuses to QUASH Domicile Criteria for PG Medical Admissions in Self Financing Medical Colleges
Bengaluru: The Supreme Court has refused to quash a Karnataka state's domicile rule for PG medical admissions which mandates 10 years of academic study in the state for a candidate to qualify for admission to 50 % institutional seats in PG courses in self-financing medical colleges.
The refusal came in view of a petition filed by a group of PG medical aspirants (MBBS and BDS doctors) who challenged the said rule.
Medical dialogues had been reporting about the whole issue of domicile criteria extensively. Last year in April, the apex court had invalidated the domicile criteria for PG medical/dental admissions in the state. At that time, a total of 44 doctors, who had done their MBBS/BDS courses from Karnataka also cleared NEET PG 2018 examination with high merit position and were aspiring for admission to PG courses in the state; had moved the SC terming the domicile conditions as ultra vires and sought direction for quashing the clause.
The main contended clause was in respect of a candidate's eligibility to acquire admission under 50 per cent of Institutional seats in private medical colleges. The clause stated:
"A candidate must have studied and passed MBBS/BDS in recognized Medical/Dental institutions located in India and has studied for a minimum period of ten academic years commencing from 1st standard to 12th standard and must have appeared and passed either SSLC or 10th standard or 2nd PUC or 12th standard equivalent examination from the Karnataka State are eligible." In case of the candidate who has taken more than one year to pass a class or standard, the years of academic study is counted as one year only."
It was contended that Clause 4.1, which specifies the domicile criteria; "arbitrarily" and "illegally" deprived the petitioners who had obtained MBBS/BDS degrees from the colleges situated in Karnataka from competing for admission to post-graduate medical/dental courses in government medical colleges and against government quota seats in non-governmental institutions.
This domicile criterion; being held invalid by SC last year; was again published in the information bulletin for this year PGET 2019 by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA).
In response, the concerned PG medical aspirants had approached the SC. They contended that the eligibility criteria published on March 16 by the KEA in a way imposed domicile condition. This was contrary to the apex court's orders, which had set aside identical conditions in 2014-15 and 2018-19 for being in violation of the right to equality.
After hearing the petition, the SC bench had directed the Karnataka government to file its response to the petition two weeks ago.
After challenging this domicile rule, the PG medical aspirants had moved against the Hyderabad-Karnataka quota in the earlier hearing in the apex court.
The candidates had contended, "In the garb of giving reservation for people from backward area of Hyderabad-Karnataka region in educational institutions of that particular area, the state government has provided reservation in admission to postgraduate medical and dental courses in the entire state of Karnataka to all persons having minimum 10 year of residence, which is impermissible in law."
The petitioner medicos reportedly felt disadvantaged and discriminated with the 2019 notification as they stood to lose chances on admission to 50% institutional preference seats.
They said that the state government's reliance upon 2013 orders was an "after-thought" even though those would operate only in medical colleges of Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal and Ballari, for the residents of only six districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
Now, during the recent hearing, the apex court bench of Honourable Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah declined to consider the plea and refused to pass any order stating that "the admission to this academic year has already been completed," reports Deccan Herald.