22 Jun 2023 4:45 PM GMT
The Telangana High Court has directed the Medical Counseling Commission to extend the benefit of third gender status, in addition to "Scheduled Caste" status in NEET PG 2023, to a transgender candidate.“In the meanwhile, as and when counselling commences for NEET PG 2023, respondents, more particularly respondent No.6,(Medical Counseling Commission) shall extend the benefit of third...
The Telangana High Court has directed the Medical Counseling Commission to extend the benefit of third gender status, in addition to "Scheduled Caste" status in NEET PG 2023, to a transgender candidate.
“In the meanwhile, as and when counselling commences for NEET PG 2023, respondents, more particularly respondent No.6,(Medical Counseling Commission) shall extend the benefit of third gender status in addition to the petitioner’s status as a “Scheduled Caste” candidate while considering her admission in any of the courses either under the central quota or under the State quota for NEET PG 2023 in a manner which is beneficial to the petitioner,” said the bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N.Tukaram Ji.
Dr. Ruth John Paul, one of the first transgender doctors of Telangana who also belongs to the SC category, filed a plea seeking reservation as a transgender person in Post Graduate medical admissions in Telangana for NEET PG 2022.
Paul had also filed the plea earlier wherein the High Court directed the National Medical Council (NMC) to consider her representation.
In May, the NMC had passed an order holding that since the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 has no provision for reservation on the basis of gender, representation of the petitioner could not be considered.
The order of NMC had compelled the petitioner to approach the Court again through the present petition.
The counsel for NMC submitted that petitioner belongs to SC category and accordingly has availed reservation on account of SC category. What the petitioner seeks is reservation within reservation as a member of the third gender, it was argued.
Objection was made by the counsel for petitioner stating that the petitioner was grouped with female candidates, against the judgment of the Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India.
The Apex Court mandated that not only members of the transgender community should be treated as third gender, but also directed the Central and State Governments to treat them as Socially and Educationally Backward Classes of citizens, the counsel submitted.
The Supreme Court further ordered the extension of all types of reservation for admission to educational institutions and public appointments, she added.
Following these submissions, the High Court had directed the counsel for NMC to obtain further instructions as to the marks secured by the last admitted candidate belonging to SC and OBC categories in NEET-PG 2023 admission.
After seeking instructions, the counsel for NMC submitted that persons belonging to the transgender community are provided reservation benefits, including in Post Graduate medical admission as persons belonging to socially and economically backward classes of citizens.
She submitted that the benefit of reservation so provided has to be worked out by the Central Government as well as by the State Government authorities while admitting students into the different Post Graduate courses.
However, it was informed to the Court that admission under the NEET PG 2022 is concerned, the admissions were concluded in September, 2022, and therefore at this stage, admission in the said course for the said year would not be possible.
The counsel for Health, Medical and Family Welfare Department submitted that as of today, no rules have been framed by the State of Telangana providing for reservation to members belonging to the transgender community insofar admissions and public employment are concerned.
The petitioner again appeared in NEET PG 2023 securing 291 marks this time out of 800 marks.
This time as well, her third gender category was overlooked and she was only considered in SC category, the petitioner submitted.
On asking from the counsel for the petitioner, “as to what interim order she would pray for at this stage.”
“One seat in the Post Graduate course in the medical colleges both under the State quota as also under the central quota should be earmarked for the petitioner,” the counsel submitted.
While listing the matter to July 20, the Court said, “we direct the respondents to file a detailed affidavit by the next date.”
Case Title: Dr. Ruth John Paul v.Union of India & Ors.
Click Here To Read/Download Order