Mumbai: The state quota criterion for admissions in the state was reversed by the Bombay High Court through an interim order passed by it on Tuesday. It has permitted Class X pass outs who have done their higher secondary in the state to join the medical college admission process under the state quota
The court was critical of the state ‘s decision to bar students from seeking admission under the state quota having completed their HSC outside Maharashtra after their SSC in the state.
“We are testing the validity of eligibility rules,” said the bench. “The only thing that matters is merit,” said Justice Dharmadhikari. “Admissions should be on merit.”
The bench was responding to the volume of petitions filed by students challenging the legal validity of the eligibility criteria under NEET Undergraduate 2018 Rules for admission to health sciences course in the state’s private, minority, government, and corporation colleges.
The rules have been challenged through various high court benches in Nagpur and Aurangabad. The Nagpur bench leading in the passing of an interim order favouring student interests on June 11
Meanwhile, the Bombay High court was informed by the state CET cell’s decision to allow students who have done their Class X from outside to join in the admission procedure following the June 11 order.
Keeping in mind the volume of petitions filed on the subject and to avoid conflicting orders to being issued on the same, the high court bench had decided that all similar petitions filed across the state be heard by a single judge bench, appointed by the acting Chief Justice Vijaya Kapse Tahilramani.
As counsel’s of both the sides agreed on the matter the high court directed that petitions were clubbed together by June 20.
V M Thorat, counsel for the petitioners, and Shruti Vyas, the state lawyer, consented to the agreement.
In another petition filed a student who had done her SSC from Maharashtra and HSC from Kerala also sought permission to submit an application for medical admissions to a college in Maharashtra under state quota. According to her lawyer, Atharva Dandekar, the petitioner is eligible as she enjoys a Maharashtra domicile and has completed her SSC from the Maharashtra state. The Counsel described the state’s admission criterion ‘arbitrary and unfair,’ reported the TOI.
The state’s opposition in her case has Justice Dharamdhikari questioning the government lawyer Jyoti Chavan on whether discrimination between students who have appeared for their board examination from outside the state could be done. The bench in a surprising move added that it may even pass a similar order supporting the cases of students who had completed their HSC from outside the state.