Medical Aspirants’ Parents move Bombay HC against new Stipulations in Maharashtra Medical Admissions
A Writ Petition has been filed by parents’ of some medical aspirants who have appeared for the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (“MHT-CET 2016”) held on 5th May, 2016, challenging new stipulations introduced by State Common Entrance Test Cell, deviating from the earlier communication given to the aspirants.
The Petition was come up for hearing today before the Bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Shalini P Joshi. Senior Advocate Mihir Desai has appeared for the Petitioner. The case is adjourned to Tuesday
Upon enactment of the Common Entrance Test, State Government through State Common Entrance Test Cell has been conferred with the power of conducting the Common Entrance Test Examinations for every year for the purpose of admissions to the following categories of Medical Colleges/Institutions:
- Govt. Colleges including Municipal Corporation run Hospitals;
- Private Unaided Medical Institutions; and
- Colleges/Medical Institutions falling under Deemed Universities.
Pursuant to the Notification published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 21st December, 2010, the Medical Council of India with the approval of the Central Government amended the regulations on Graduate Medical Education 1997 and made provision for a Single Eligibility cum Entrance Examination, namely, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS Course in each academic year. The Dental Council of India also amended the BDS Course Regulations 2007 and notified in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 31st May, 2012 that admission to BDS Course in each academic year shall be through National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET). The Medical Council of India and Dental Council of India have notified that the Central Board of Secondary Education shall be the organization to conduct the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admission to MBBS and BDS Courses. The Petitioners crave leave to refer to and rely upon the said Notifications when produced.
Meanwhile President of India had promulgate an Ordinance dated 24th May, 2016 by which it was directed that the State Governments will be at liberty to hold their respective state level common entrance tests, notwithstanding any contradictory direction or order passed by any Court in India.
Under the previous Communication of February, 2016 read with the Maharashtra Act, the students aspiring to take admissions in the field of medicine were informed that the marks obtained in MHT-CET 2016 would determine which medical institutions/colleges the students get into on the basis of merit list. The categories of medical institutions/colleges to which an aspiring medical student would be eligible to take admission in, were nothing but the three categories referred to hereinabove. The Petitioners submit that such is the effect and purport of the history of conducting CET, the Maharashtra Act and the Ordinance dated 24th May, 2016. The Petitioners submitted that in pursuance of the Communication of February, 2016, the MHT-CET 2016 was held on 5th May, 2016 strictly in terms of the conditions and stipulations contained in the Communication of February, 2016. The results of MHT-CET 2016 were declared on 1st June, 2016.
According to the Petitioners State Common Entrance Test Cell had published a Communication on its website on 10th June, 2016. The said Impugned Communication inter-alia contains the following two broad deviations from the Communication of February, 2016, which broad deviations are set out as under.
- The Impugned Communication provided that the procedure set out therein will only apply to selection of candidates to be admitted at All State Government Colleges, all Municipal Corporation Colleges, all State Government Aided Colleges and all Health Sciences Unaided Private Professional Institutions in the State of Maharashtra except in so far as courses of MBBS and BDS are concerned [‘Deviation No. 1’];
- The Impugned Communication also provided that there shall be an additional weightage claim that can be availed of by the medical aspirants on the basis of their achievements in sports and/or NCC or on the basis of having a parent who was involved in Hyderabad/Goa liberation or was a freedom fighter [‘Deviation No. 2’];
The Petition filed through INDIALAW challenged the above deviations mainly on the following Grounds
The Impugned Communication purports to exclude Private Unaided Medical Institutions/Colleges, which Medical Institutions/Colleges were earlier included in the Communication of February, 2016. The Impugned Communication suffers from a legal informality in so far as it contravenes the expressed provisions of the Maharashtra Act. The Impugned Communication is released at a much belated stage and only a few days prior to the commencement of admission process.It led to a situation where medical aspirants stand to get additional weightage on the basis of Deviation No.2, which condition was not informed vide the Communication of February, 2016. The Petitioners’ children have appeared for the MHT-CET 2016 on the basis of information and stipulation contained in the Communication of February, 2016. It was on that basis that the examinations were conducted on 5th May, 2016. The results were declared on 1st June, 2016. In these circumstances, the post-facto additions of material deviations refer the Impugned Communication as bad in law. It has not provided under what criteria the medical aspirants would be eligible to apply to Private Unaided Medical Institutions/Colleges. This assumes much significance given the fact that the NEET Examinations’ application process is only open till 21st June, 2016. Moreover, the NEET examinations are slated to be held on 24th July, 2016, which examinations are based on an entirely different curriculum/syllabus from that of MHT-CET 2016. Communication has not provided under what criteria the medical aspirants would be eligible to apply to Private Unaided Medical Institutions/Colleges. This assumes much significance given the fact that the NEET Examinations’ application process is only open till 21st June, 2016. Moreover, the NEET examinations are slated to be held on 24th July, 2016, which examinations are based on an entirely different curriculum/syllabus from that of MHT-CET 2016.