Providing respite to a local MBBS aspirant, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has quashed the UT administration’s regulations making it mandatory for candidates to clear Class 12 from a Chandigarh school, even for bona fide city residents, to be eligible for admission to the 77 MBBS seats reserved for the Chandigarh pool at the Government Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32. Allowing the petition filed last June by Akanksha Mehra, a division bench presided over by justice K Kannan called the policy “faulty” and directed the administration to admit Mehra to the MMBS course under the UT pool.
As MBBS students have already been admitted under these rules, the high court clarified its decision would not affect admissions for this academic year while directing the administration to admit Mehra against one seat reserved for her.
Appearing for the petitioner, counsel Rajiv Kataria submitted the administration’s policy on MBBS admissions was “unjustified” since it allowed a candidate who had studied for eleven years at an institution outside Chandigarh to be eligible for the 85% seats reserved under the UT quota just by clearing the Class 12 exam from a school in the city.
In her petition Mehra had challenged the condition imposed by the administration, which said, “A candidates should have passed the Class 12 examination as a regular student from a school or college recognised by the UT administration and situated in the union territory of Chandigarh.” She claimed the administration had exempted children of serving defence personnel and ex-servicemen from this condition vide its letter no 19/1/3-IH (3)-2007/18322 dated September 14, 2007.
Kataria argued the eligibility criteria for MBBS admissions was causing “great hardship” to bona fide city residents. “It amounts to a violation of Article 14 of the Indian constitution and is against the principles of reservation in educational institution,” he said.