Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government on Wednesday was severely reprimanded by the Bombay High Court for taking a contradictory stand on the domicile rule for admissions to medical courses in the state.
The reprimand came in view of the response given by the government lawyer last month to petitions filed before the Nagpur bench challenging the domicile rule, wherein, he had stated that the state had no objections if the student were admitted, subject to final court orders. This was unlike the earlier stand that was taken by the state before the Mumbai bench of ‘insistence on backing its rule”.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that with the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), results out , the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), has announced that those seeking admission in medical college in the state are to produce “Domicile of Maharashtra Certificate and Mark sheets of their Std X and Std XII exams”.
Keeping the states changed stance in mind a division bench of Justice Bharati Dangre and Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari directed that all the petitions filed on the issue at the Mumbai and Aurangabad benches were to be clubbed together and placed before it, on Thursday. The bench has also called for the director of medical education to be present at the hearing.
“Since this is a batch of matters in which, prima facie, a contrary stand has been taken by the state government at Nagpur and this principal seat (in Mumbai), it is imperative that the matters should have been clubbed together before the ongoing process is finalized,” said the bench.
“Meaning, thereby, if admissions are granted by interim orders, then that would not be conducive to maintain the merit and ensure that only meritorious candidates who comply with all eligible conditions are admitted to professional courses. No additional conditions can be prescribed and contrary to the mandate of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET),” said the judges as reported in the TOI.
The rule in question further elaborates that those students who have appeared for Class X and XII examinations outside the state are not eligible to apply for seats under the 85% state quota for medical admissions.
The court was responding to a petition filed by 19-year-old Harimatiya Khalil, who was admitted to a BHMS course in the 2017-18 academic year and was declared ineligible, as she had cleared her class ten(HSC) and twelve(SSC) exams from the state of Gujarat, where her father is presently working.
The petitioner’s counsel said her family was based in Nandurbar and she herself had completed most of her primary and secondary studies in Maharashtra.