The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) which published the first merit-based selection list for PG admissions on Sunday , will now have to revise it. For, the order by the holiday bench of Justices S S Kemkar and A M Badar would mean the list, with names of only domiciled students, stands cancelled.
The HC order made it clear that the list should be prepared on the basis of earlier eligibility rules -which means non-domiciled graduates too should be included.
The state is planning to move the Supreme Court against the stay on Monday . The admission process has to be completed between May 2 and May 7, in keeping with the deadline set by the Supreme Court.
The order comes as a relief to more than 700 medical graduates who were overnight rendered ineligible for PG admissions for being non-domiciled. The additional eligibility requirement was forced on students at the fag-end of preparation of the first merit list in an “illegal and arbitrary move'' said the students who filed a petition in the HC on Saturday . The HC interim order, however, will affect domicile students who secured seats in the list released on Sunday .
The DMER had issued a government resolution (GR) on April 27 to allow non-domiciled students admissions in a 17.5% management quota in private medical colleges. According to the GR, 50% of seats (state quota) in medical institutions are to be filled by domicile students. Besides, in the 35% institutional quota, 17.5% is kept aside for domiciles.Therefore, the reservation for domicile candidates is more than 67.5%.
The HC bench stayed the GR as well as a notice the state issued on April 28.
The bench held that the “change of eligibility criteria at the stage when the first selection list was to be published is in our considered view arbitrary and unreasonable“.Doctors who were given expectation right since January 2017 that they would be eligible for admission were turned ineligible and would find it impossible now to apply for PG seats in any other state since admission process is midway , the court observed while passing orders in a plea filed by Dr Ga gandeep Mahi and others against the change of eligibility rules.
Advocates V M Thorat and Pooja Thorat appearing for the petitioner argued that the sudden issuance of GR was discriminatory , unauthorised and must be stayed immediately. Dr Mahi and two others were admitted to MBBS in government medical colleges in Maharashtra under a17.5% all India quota. Another student admitted under the defence quota and an MBBS graduate from DY Patil Deemed University, Kolhapur, under the all India quota, had also moved the HC.
Government lawyer L M Acharya argued that the modified rules are to ensure maximum PG medical students from Maharashtra to achieve the objective of improving and providing better public healthcare in the state. “The first selection list has already been published, so no interference is called for at this stage,'' he said seeking a week to file a reply to the petition.
DMER director Pravin Shingare said, “We would like state students to benefit from our facilities. Our students find it difficult to secure admissions in other states, as many follow domicile policy .“
Shingare said they would appeal to the SC.
The petitioners said since they were eligible for PG seats in government medical colleges, they paid Rs 10 lakh along with interest of Rs 3 lakh in lieu of compensation for rendering rural service, but find themselves ineligible now.
Observing that admission rules published before January 27, 2017 made even non-domiciled MBBS students graduating from Maharashtra colleges with one year internship by March 31, eligible for PG admissions in the state, changing the rules mid-way was prima facie not sustainable, the HC said. The government has to file its reply in two weeks and HC will next hear the matter on June 7.