Shillong: The Supreme court has issued a directive to Assam for allocation of 10 medical seats to Meghalaya of the total 27 available.
The order has been passed in response to a special leave petition hearing yesterday, filed on September 4 by the Meghalaya Government. Against the Government of Assam for having done away with 10 medical seats reserved for the state.The case was heard by Chief Justice Deepak Mishra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud.
“Keeping in view the interest of Meghalaya, it is directed that 10 seats out of 27 seats shall be allocated to it (Meghalaya). The state of Assam is allocated 17 out of 27 seats. Both Assam and Meghalaya shall conduct counselling in an objective and appropriate manner so that merit should be the exclusive criterion from amongst the NEET qualified candidates. Any candidate who is not qualified in NEET shall not be entitled to consideration,” the court order said.
The order further stated that only if the petitioners and interveners qualified in accordance with the merit list drawn by the authorities, would they be called for counselling and granted seats.
“Barring the 27 seats, no counselling should take place with respect to any other seat. The counselling shall be completed within 10 days from today (Friday),” the order stated.
Further, it clarified that “this is purely an interim arrangement and the controversy that has been raised in the special leave petition and the original suit shall be decided on their own merits.”
“Majority of the students who have been selected to pursue their medical studies in the various medical colleges in Assam have already gone to their respective institutions. The students are likely to get admission by tomorrow itself,” a senior government official informed the Sentinel.
This, senior government official informed that all aspirants selected for various medical seats are toppers, NEET-qualified candidates.
“I do not think there will be any more problem since the apex court has given its ruling in our favour,” added the official.
The Supreme Court on September 4 had received a petition by the Meghalaya Government requesting it to retain the 10 reserved medical seats in the state, allotted to Meghalaya. It had also pleaded that the MCI be included as a party in the case.
Meghalaya state authorities also alleged that Assam had not informed them about the change of rules for admission into medical colleges, which had led to them, losing the 10 medical seats reserved for Meghalaya.
On the other hand, Assam has been reserving 10 medical seats for Meghalaya – two in Silchar Medical College and four each in Assam Medical College and Hospital and Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya claimed that according to the sixth paragraph of the minutes of the Joint Committee meeting held on March 15, 1976, on division of assets and liabilities between the two governments, Assam was to provide Meghalaya all facilities available in “common institutions (including medical colleges)” located in Assam, if expenditure was shared on a pro-rata basis reports the Telegraph.
The next hearing is to be during the second week of January next year.