The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed the Chandigarh administration to place on record all representations received from the Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates on which UT medical education and research secretary, Anil Kumar, had ordered the creation of one NRI SC seat of six for admission to the MBBS course at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.
The directions came from justice GS Sandhawalia on a petition filed by Kurrun Singh Sekhon, a US citizen who has applied for admission to MBBS course in the NRI quota.
The court said that the stay put by the court on July 9 on Anil Kumar’s order under challenge issued on June 19 and the corrigendum issued on June 20 would remain in force till the next date of hearing on July 30. The petitioner can appear in counseling to be conducted by GMCH-32 for NRI seats on July 23.
Court’s directions came when Anil Kumar in his reply submitted that he had passed the order under challenge, “on the basis of the representation received from some candidates and also keeping in view the spirit behind the reservation policy of the government of India. …the deponent by no means is linked to any of the candidates who have applied for admission to the MBBS course.”
However, senior advocate Rajiv Atma Ram, appearing for the petitioner argued, “Respondent No 2 (Anil Kumar) can’t be allowed to defend UT administration through his reply when allegations of bias have been levelled against him.”
On this, the bench questioned Chandigarh’s senior standing counsel as to how Anil Kumar was filing a reply and “tomorrow it may be trouble for him if something is found against him.” The court thus asked UT’s counsel to clarify stand on the point. The petitioner’s counsel also argued, “It is an attempt to fill up NRI seat from non-NRI candidate. It can’t be permitted by law.”
The court then questioned the UT’s senior standing counsel, “Once the brochure has been published and process has been started, how can you change the criteria?”
HT had questioned Kumar’s decision in its story on ‘GMCH reserves MBBS seat on home secretary’s order’ in its June26 edition. The petitioner had later moved court.
The petitioner was placed at number five in the order of merit since there were six seats in the NRI category for the MBBS course. Of these six seats, the UT administration filled up one seat by admitting a student who had applied in the previous academic session on court orders. Of the remaining five seats, Anil Kumar reserved one seat for an NRI SC candidate by a June 19 after the merit position was available in the NRI category on June 17. There was no column in the form asking candidates to disclose “caste”.