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[Non-Inclusion Of EWS Quota Seats] Rajasthan HC Cancels First Round Of Counseling For Medical PG Admissions; Directs Fresh Counseling [Read Order]

Akshita Saxena
16 Jun 2020 9:51 AM GMT
[Non-Inclusion Of EWS Quota Seats] Rajasthan HC Cancels First Round Of Counseling For Medical PG Admissions; Directs Fresh Counseling [Read Order]
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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.

Backdrop

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.

Findings

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:

  • "As it is noticed that during pendency of the writ petitions, the first round of All India Counselling and second round of All India Counselling has already commenced, therefore, in the counselling, which is to be done now by the State, all the seats, which have come back to the State Government after the All India Counselling, shall also be included keeping in view the peculiar circumstances which have arisen and with the view that there is no delay in giving admissions.
  • The State Government shall be free to fill EWS 10% quota by applying plain roster of 10%. The roster of direct recruitment shall not be applicable for the said purpose. The EWS reservation shall apply as per roster to the only seats which are made available by MCI for implementation of EWS quota vide letter dated 27/02/2020.
  • The admissions given in the first round of counselling would be treated as cancelled. However, if in the second round of counselling, the students are allotted the same College, their admission shall be accordingly made. In other cases, where a student has not been able to get a particular seat, his fees already deposited, shall be returned. The exercise shall be immediately conducted on completion of the All India Counselling.
  • It is directed that henceforth, the admission process for PG Courses, which is to be conducted, shall be transparent and information shall be provided to all students beforehand about roster which is being applied and the Colleges where the vacant seats are there etc. in order to avoid further litigation in future.
  • The observations made by this Court with regard to the EWS reservation in each category as per the provisions of the Constitution shall be considered for future admissions."

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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