Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today quashed a Maharashtra government notification that rendered ineligible for admission under the state quota those post-graduate medical aspirants who do not possess the state domicile certificate.
As per the November 2017 notification, MBBS graduates from outside Maharashtra, as well as those who have completed their graduation from colleges in Maharashtra but are not domicile of the state, are ineligible for admission to the PG courses.
A bench of Justices B R Gavai and B P Colabawalla held that the notification was arbitrary and not maintainable in law.
As per a previous order of the Supreme Court, all medical colleges in Maharashtra reserve 50 per cent seats for the state quota and the rest of the seats fall under the All India Quota.
As per the earlier rules, such students, who either had the domicile of Maharashtra or who had completed their MBBS and under-graduate dental degrees from state-run, municipal, or private medical colleges in the state, were eligible to seek admissions to post-graduate medical courses under the state quota.
However, as per the 2017 notification, aspirants seeking admissions to the post-graduate medical courses in the state were required not just to be a graduate from a medical or dental college in the state, but are also needed to be domicile of Maharashtra.
The HC, however, held that the state government could not exclude thousands of students, who were otherwise eligible for admissions, merely on the ground of domicile.
The directions came while the bench was hearing a petition filed by some medical students who had completed their undergraduate medical and dental degrees from various state-run, municipal, and private colleges across Maharashtra.
While they were otherwise eligible for securing admissions in the post-graduate medical courses, the above notification rendered them ineligible for admissions since they did not have the domicile certificate of Maharashtra.
Their lawyers, Pooja Thorat and V M Thorat, told the HC that the said notification was “discriminatory and unfair”, and sought that it be quashed and set aside.
The petitioners also said that in a previous order, the apex court had held that the states could not have domicile as a criterion for admissions to medical colleges.
The Maharashtra government, however, argued that the state’s move was justifiable as the modified rules were to ensure maximum post-graduate medical students from the state achieved the government’s object of improving and providing better public healthcare.
“How can you do this? How can you exclude so many students from the admission process merely on the ground of domicile? This notification can’t be maintained in law and is set aside,” the bench said.