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Innocent Attempt Of A Girl To Get Admitted To Her Dream Course: Kerala HC Refrains From Imposing Cost For Filing Multiple Pleas With Similar Prayers

Hannah M Varghese
25 Nov 2021 8:15 AM GMT
Innocent Attempt Of A Girl To Get Admitted To Her Dream Course: Kerala HC Refrains From Imposing Cost For Filing Multiple Pleas With Similar Prayers
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In a fascinating judgment, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday wished a petitioner good luck on cracking Kerala Engineering Architectural Medical (KEAM) Entrance exam on her next attempt, rather than imposing cost for filing multiple pleas with similar prayers, thereby wasting the time of the Court.

Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan was hearing a plea filed by a young woman belonging to the Scheduled Caste community to get admitted to the MBBS course based on her application submitted in the academic year 2018-2019.

Upon finding that the petitioner had approached the Court with similar petitions twice since 2019, the Court remarked:

"According to me, this writ petition is to be dismissed with heavy cost because the petitioner is wasting the time of this court by filing writ petition after writ petition with various prayers and that also at belated stages. But I am reluctant to impose a cost in this case treating it as an innocent attempt of an innocent girl to get admission for her dream course of MBBS."

The Court went on to wish her good luck in her future endeavours and asked her to focus on studying rather than spending time litigating :

"Petitioner ought to have spent time to study well in the ensuing academic year and get admission to her dream course instead of spending time on this legal battle. This is not the end of her educational carrier. I wish her all the best to get admission to her dream course by attempting in the qualifying examination the next time if possible. Take it as revenge and show society that medical science is safe in your hand. That will be the happiest day for the author of this judgement just like to you and to your loving parents. God bless you!"

Facts:

The primary contention of the petitioner was that the reservation of seats available to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Community for the professional degree course should be computed based on the total number of seats available for the course.

According to the petitioner, the reservation of seats available to SC/ST students was not properly computed by the respondents in the academic year 2018-2019 and therefore she was denied a seat.

She approached the Court alleging that the State authorities violated the Horizontal Reservation principles laid down by the apex court and consequently the number of reservation seats of SC/ST was drastically reduced.

The petitioner contended that reservations to SC/ST and Other Backward Classes are vertical reservations under Article 15(4) of the Constitution, while the reservation for Government of India Nominees, Persons With Disability and Special Reservations are Horizontal Reservations under Article 15(1).

Horizontal Reservations cut across the Vertical Reservations and the same is called Interlocking reservations. The petitioner submitted that the reservation of 10% to SC/ST should remain at 10% even after providing these Horizontal Reservations.

According to her, the correct course is to first fill up 60% on the basis of merit, then each of the social reservation quotas i.e, OBC 13% and SC/ST 10%. Thereafter, it is to be found out how many candidates belonging to PWD and SR categories have been selected on the above basis.

If the quota fixed for PWD and SR categories is already satisfied in the case and if it is an overall Horizontal Reservation, no further question arises.

Findings:

The Court noted that the petitioner had previously filed two writ petitions with similar prayers. One of these petitions was amended twice and thereafter withdrawing the same the present writ petition was filed with almost identical prayers.

Moreover, the Court found that there was an inherent delay in the petition since she was challenging her qualification for an MBBS seat for 2018-2019.

"If we go through the dates and events in this case, it is clear that the contention of the respondents that the claim of the petitioner are highly belated, is justified."

The Court noted that the writ petition was liable to be dismissed solely for its delay.

"The petitioner has not approached this Court in time and this Court is not in a position to pass any orders in favour of the petitioner at this distance of time."

It was also noted that even on merits, the case did not stand since a similar petition was filed before the Court and it was rejected.

Accordingly, finding the plea devoid of any merit, the writ petition was dismissed.

Advocates T.N. Jayadevan, D. Jothikumar and J.Vishnu Devaraj appeared for the petitioner while Standing Counsel for Medical Council of India Titus Manu Vettom, Standing Counsel for Kerala University of Health Sciences P. Sreekumar and Senior Government Pleader V. Manu appeared for the respondents.

Case Title: Shilpa S. Jayadev v. State of Kerala & Ors.

Click Here To Read/Download The Judgment

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