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NEET-PG| "How Do We Cancel Admission? There Will Be Human Tragedy": Supreme Court On Plea Seeking Fresh Registration In NRI Quota Before Mop Up Counseling

Shruti Kakkar
25 April 2022 12:25 PM GMT
NEET-PG| How Do We Cancel Admission? There Will Be Human Tragedy: Supreme Court On Plea Seeking Fresh Registration In NRI Quota Before Mop Up Counseling
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The Supreme Court on Monday considered a petition file by NRI students seeking time for fresh registration in the NRI quota before commencement of the Mop-Up counseling in the State of Kerala. "How do we cancel admission, there will be human tragedy. It will be a tragedy for us to say that" the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant orally observed on Senior Advocate...

The Supreme Court on Monday considered a petition file by NRI students seeking time for fresh registration in the NRI quota before commencement of the Mop-Up counseling in the State of Kerala.

"How do we cancel admission, there will be human tragedy. It will be a tragedy for us to say that" the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant orally observed on Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave's contention that the seats allocated for NRI Quota cannot be transferred to any other quota.

In the present matter, students had assailed Kerala High Court's judgment of dismissing the writ appeal preferred by Kerala Private Medical College Management Association ("KPMCMA") and upholding single judge's order of refusing to grant time.

In the impugned judgment the bench headed by Chief Justice S Manikumar had said,

"Since it has been pointed out that the last date for admission for MBBS course is today 08.04.2022, as per the directions issued by the National Medical Commission, the appellants cannot be given liberty to grant time for fresh registration in NRI quota. We find that sufficient time was granted to the NRI quota candidates to exercise their option. Ext. P2 list was published as early as on 24.12.2021. Therefore, the same can only mean that no eligible NRI candidate is available to exercise option. We are not inclined to grant any relief to the appellants."

Before the High Court, the KPMCMA had sought directions to the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations and Admission Supervisory Committee of Kerala to grant time for fresh registration in the NRI quota to the eligible students before commencement of the Mop-Up counseling.

The Association had pointed out that as per the NRI list, there were 618 rank holders. However, even after two rounds of counseling, 57 NRI Quota seats were lying vacant.The Association contended that numerous eligible candidates were unable to exercise their option due to the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. In the said circumstances, it submitted a representation requesting to invite fresh applications to fill up vacant seats in the NRI Quota before the Mop up allotment.

On April 18, 2021, the Top Court while issuing notice in the SLP had also asked the State of Kerala to apprise the bench about the seats that remain unfilled after the Mop Up round.

What Transpired In The Supreme Court Today?

When the matter was called for hearing, Justice DY Chandrachud, the presiding judge of the bench, while pointing out to the Status Report said, "They have filed a Status Report saying that out of 38 petitioners only 7 candidates figured in NRI Category List , 12 were excluded, 19 did not claim any quota and none had given option to any of the NRI in the mop up rounds. Total of 45 NRI seats were converted."

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave appearing for Kerala Private Medical College Management Association ("KPMCMA") submitted that the State had misguided the High Court as well as Top Court.

Referring to the Top Court's judgment in PA Inamdar & Ors v State of Maharashtra, Dave he said, "State has misguided the High Court and the Supreme Court There are 7 NRI candidates who had paid 1 Lakh fees and after the mop up was done they were waiting to be absorbed. The Constitution Bench in Inamdar has held that you cannot under any circumstances convert the seats."

"All the seats have been allotted, Mr Dave," remarked Justice Chandrachud.

"Mr Dave how to now cancel their admission," Justice Kant added.

"If the government does anything contrary to the Constitution Bench Judgment, why should we suffer.. NRI is not under any Act or notification. Virtually it was said that you cannot convert it into any category. The state has made a false statement that they are not available. 7 candidates are there," Dave replied.

To further substantiate his contention, Senior Counsel also referred to the circular dated March 11, 2022 wherein the State had offered the candidates not belonging to NRI Category to register themselves as NRI candidates.

"If 7 students were available, they should have been granted admission," Dave further submitted.

"The State has taken a categorical stand about the eligibility of the NRI candidates. If the government did something illegal you can pursue your claim against them personally. How do we cancel admission, there will be human tragedy. It will be a tragedy for us to say that" remarked Justice Chandrachud.

Terming the State's conduct as egregious, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi appearing for the students while drawing court's attention to the state's list of NRI candidates said, "Now this is the state's own list of NRI Candidates. Total number is 621 as per this list and the seats are 315. Come to page 89, 7 persons are categorically there. Now all these person's- conduct is egregious. You want to accommodate students from general category for whatever reasons which are not very far to seek."

The bench would now consider the matter tomorrow.

Case Title: Maha P v State of Kerala & Ors

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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