Meritorious students cannot be thrown out of window: SC slams Maha CET Cell; directs PG medical Recounselling
New Delhi: "Meritorious students cannot be thrown out of the window," the Supreme Court stated while reprimanding the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell (Maha CET Cell) for not conducting the counselling for PG medical and dental courses after the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota was scrapped for this academic year.
The Supreme Court has directed Maha CET Cell that the entire process of counselling should be completed on or before June 14 and admissions be given on the basis of merit.
Taking note of "plight of students" due to uncertainty over PG medical and dental admissions in Maharashtra this year, the apex court stated that such a situation is difficult for the meritorious students.
It passed the order on pleas filed by some PG medical students seeking a fresh round of counselling after the re-drawing of the merit list. One of the fresh pleas filed by one of the petitioners had 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 court has stayed EWS reservation.
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.
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.”
Noticing the non-compliance of its order, the apex court bench irked and threatened the State of contempt proceedings.
Now, during the recent hearing, the SC bench of honourable Justices Indu Malhotra and M R Shah questioned the state for not conducting any counselling after the apex court's order stayed the notification to grant 10 per cent EWS reservation.
The bench referred to the difficulties faced by the students and said that the candidates cannot be left to be in stress due to all this and expressed its “anxiety” over the uncertainty students face every year.
"We do not want to pass any order which will affect other students," the bench said, adding, "You (state) are the author of all these problems. It is very improper".
If further said:
"The moment EWS quota is made open to the general category, a fresh counselling has to be done. You (state) cannot do it as per your wish. Meritorious students cannot be thrown out of the window like this... How can you do it without any fresh counselling."
When the counsel appearing for the CET cell referred to some legal provisions, the bench slammed the cell and stated,
"...How long does the counselling take? You can easily do it in two days. It can be done online also. Today, the situation has changed with EWS quota being deleted,... "
"... You are the persons who have created this trouble and now you are talking about legal rules..."
".... Counselling was cancelled. It has to be re-done. Orders of the Supreme Court have to be complied with,"
The apex court told advocate appearing for the state, and the counsel who was representing the state CET cell that they must adopt a "fair process" in the admissions.
The bench noted the suggestions given by the counsel appearing for the Medical Council of India (MCI) who said that instead of online counselling, the state should conduct it manually and CET cell should issue advertisement in this regard. The bench termed as "fair" the suggestion given by MCI counsel and asked the state and CET cell to conduct the final round of counselling.
The bench also directed that no further petition and application with regard to admission in PG medical courses in the state for the current academic year would be entertained by any other court.
The apex court said no student would be permitted to change preference given in the earlier admission form.
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