SC Constitution Bench Says No To State Reservation For In-Service Candidates To Medical PG Courses [Read Order]

SC Constitution Bench Says No To State Reservation For In-Service Candidates To Medical PG Courses [Read Order]

Any attempt at this stage to read into Regulation 9(IV), a separate source of entry or a reservation for in-service candidates in degree courses would impinge upon Entry 66 of List I and the exercise of regulatory powers under the central statute, the Bench said.

The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has refused to grant interim relief of separate source of entry or a reservation for in-service candidates in post-graduate medical degree courses.

A five-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan observed that the decision in Dinesh Singh Chauhan holds the field and is consistent with the primacy which is attributed by the Constitution to Entry 66 of List.

A bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph had referred the matter to the Constitution bench and had directed the petitioners to approach the constitution bench for interim relief.

Justice Chandrachud, who authored the interim order, observed:  “The decision in Dinesh Singh Chauhan holds the field. It is based on a construction of Regulation 9(IV) which, at least at the present stage, cannot be brushed aside. The principle which has been adopted in that decision is consistent with the primacy which is attributed by the Constitution to Entry 66 of List I. This is the clear intendment of the words “subject to” in Entry 25 of List III. The grant of any interim relief at the present stage would amount to a mandatory final order which cannot be countenanced. MCI has, as an expert body, proceeded on a principled basis. Any attempt at this stage to read into Regulation 9(IV), a separate source of entry or a reservation for in-service candidates in degree courses would impinge upon Entry 66 of List I and the exercise of regulatory powers under the central statute.”

The court also said the observation in Dinesh Singh Chauhan case that Regulation 9 is a self-contained code regarding the procedure to be followed for admissions to medical courses is consistent with the principles which have been reaffirmed by the Constitution bench in Modern Dental College and Research Centre case. The court also observed that the proviso to Rule 9(IV) does not contemplate a reservation for in-service candidates in post-graduate courses but the grant of incentive marks.

Reference order

The observations made by the three-judge ‘referring’ bench in the Reference order have been succinctly summarized by Justice DY Chandrachud in his order.



  • The decision in Dinesh Singh Chauhan has not considered the entries in the legislative lists of the Seventh Schedule, more particularly Entry 66 of the Union List and Entry 25 of the Concurrent List;

  • The main contention of the petitioners is that while coordination and determination of standards in institutions for higher education falls within the exclusive domain of the Union (Entry 66 List I), medical education is a subject in the Concurrent List (Entry 25 List III). Though, Entry 25 of List III is subject to Entry 66 of List I, the State is not denuded of its power to 1 (2016) 9 SCC 749 3 legislate on the manner and method of making admissions to post-graduate medical courses; (iii) The contentions which have been raised in the present batch of petitions were not addressed before this Court in Dinesh Singh Chauhan;

  • The judgment in Dinesh Singh Chauhan does not consider three decisions of the Constitution Bench in R Chitralekha v State of Mysore, Kumari Chitra Ghosh v Union of India and Modern Dental College and Research Centre v State of Madhya Pradesh ;

  • There are decisions rendered by Benches of an equal strength as in Dinesh Singh Chauhan.


Read the Order Here