The Rajasthan HC has directed the state Government and NEET, PG Medical Counseling Board, to conduct a fresh round of counseling for admissions to PG seats by including additional 89 seats allotted for implementation of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota in the state.
The order has been passed by Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma in a bunch of petitions challenging the action of the State Government in not including the aforesaid additional seats, which were provided by the Medical Council of India, for implementation of 10% EWS quota.
The Petitioners, represented by Senior Advocate RN Mathur, had contended that on account of not including the said seats in the first round of counseling, serious prejudice has been caused to the candidates of general category who were meritorious and would have been provided the Colleges and faculties of their choice and would have been placed accordingly
"It cannot be ignored that if a meritorious candidate is ousted and in his place a lesser meritorious candidate from EWS category is provided a particular seat in a particular faculty in a particular College, it has a cascading effect meaning thereby the said meritorious candidate will then get another seat in another College which would have, in normal course, gone to another meritorious candidate who had also opted for that seat and loss on account of comparative merit," the court concurred.
As per the office memorandum issued by the Government of India on January 17, 2019, reservation for EWS, who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservation for SC, ST, socially & educationally backward classes, shall be provided in admission to educational institutions, subject to maximum of 10% of total seats in each category.
It is also provided therein that the seats will be added above the annual permitted strength, in a manner so that the number of seats available in various other categories are not reduced.
in terms of the memorandum, the MCI had, vide letter dated February 27, 2020, increased 89 seats for the state of Rajasthan.
It was the case of the Petitioners that the Government of Rajasthan had released the result of the first round of counseling on April 26, without adding 89 seats in first round of counseling.
On a perusal of the said documents, the court held that the State of Rajasthan ought to have followed the guidelines laid down by the MCI and the Central Government.
"In the present case, on account of not adding the seats in the first round of counselling, the future of the meritorious students has been put to a loss which cannot be compensated by the method of open exit in second round of counseling," the court observed.
The bench therefore directed that admissions given in the first round of counseling would be treated as "cancelled" and it directed the State Government to conduct a fresh round of counseling for admission to PG seats by including the additional seats allotted for implementation of EWS quota as per the MCI letter dated 27/02/2020.
The court further ordered:
The Petitioners were also represented by Advocates Prateek Mathur, Shobhit Tiwari and Nupur Bhati. The Respondents were represented by Advocate General MS Singhvi with Advocates Darsh Pareek, Angad Mirdha and RB Mathur.
[Updated With Order]
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