Telangana: Round 2 MBBS counselling by KNRUHS stayed by HC on allegations of violation of GO 550
The students submitted that while the first phase of MBBS counselling was conducted by KNRUHS in accordance with the procedure contemplated in GO 114 and in terms of GO 550 and as per a judgment by Supreme Court, it was given the go-by during the Phase-II.
Hyderabad: The Government Order (GO) 550 continues to remain controversial in Telangana state, this time severely affecting the MBBS admissions as the Telangana High Court has recently passed interim orders staying the Round 2 counselling of 50% convenor quota considering a plea alleging malpractice in the admission process and violation of the GO.
The MBBS and BDS counselling to Telangana based medical and dental institutes is being conducted by Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences (KNRUHS) for 2019-2020.
According to recent media reports, the petitioner students, while accusing the varsity authorities of doing injustice to students of reserved categories; moved the high court seeking an order to declare the admissions made in Round 2 illegal. They claimed that the university officials failed to adhere to GO 550.
What is GO 550?
On July 30, 2001, the then government issued GO RT 550 on seat allotment in professional courses. The government order stated that the open category seats are to be filled first on the basis of merit irrespective of the reservation category. It's only after the open category seats were allocated were the reserved seats to be considered.
The order also clarified that if a reserved category candidate was allotted an open category merit seat and left the reserved seat for better opportunities, the vacancy generated was to be filled by a candidate from the same reserved category on merit basis.
The High Court and the Supreme Court had upheld these GOs as several petitions were filed, challenging their validity. Hence, the admissions were directed to be done as per the GO 550.
The five candidates who filed the petition had an opportunity to secure seats in the open category by virtue of the ranks they secured if the open category seats were filled first. But, owing to the decision of to fill reserved category seats first, these candidates were compelled to get admission under the reserved quota.
In their petition, the students submitted that while the first phase of counselling was conducted in accordance with the procedure contemplated in GO 114 and in terms of GO 550 and as per a judgment by Supreme Court, it was given the go-by during the Phase-II.
There were 2,535 medical seats other than minority quota and 330 medical seats in minority quota. After the Phase-I admissions, 712 medical seats were available for Phase-II, mentions a report by The Hindu.
The petitioners alleged that there were irregularities in the admission process adopted by the university and had denied the rights of reservation category students.
Before the division bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice P Keshav Rao, the counsel appearing for the students submitted that reserved seats were filled up first and the OC category later, when the open competition seats were supposed to be filled first before taking up the reserved seats. Those reserved candidates who got high merit, but were unsure about their prospects, hence could grab seats under reserved category.
The counsel said these students with good marks, known as Merit Reserved Candidates (MRCs), were allowed to avail seats under reserved category. "Had the authorities filled the OC category first, these MRCs would have got seats under OC category. Several SC, ST and BC students would have then got the seats now occupied by these MRCs. This is nothing but practically erasing reservations for the weak," quotes TOI.
The petition said the cut-off marks in the OC category was 509 and cut-off rank 43,868. If proper procedure was followed, the cut-off would have been 512 and many reserved category candidates could have secured seats. As per Deccan Chronicle, they listed the cut-off marks as follows:
- SC: 420 marks (Rank: 1,09,080);
- ST: 443 marks (Rank: 88,880);
- BC-A: 421 marks (Rank: 1,02,981);
- BC-B: 485 marks (Rank: 58,293);
- BC-C: 445 marks (Rank: 87,265);
- BC-D: 481 marks (Rank: 61,005);
- BC-E: 444 marks (Rank: 88,368).
The bench questioned the state counsel if authorities had taken up the task of filling reserved seats first in contravention of the procedure. It also verified the records and asked the state to file its counter.
When there was no proper response from the government counsel, the bench said that the court, prima facie, was of the opinion that the authorities were in the wrong, and stayed phase-II admissions. As for phase-I counselling, it would remain valid since the petitioners themselves have said that they have no grievance with it, quotes TNIE.
The high court directed the government to file a counter-affidavit and posted the matter to August 13th 2019 for further hearing.