In its interim order dated April 29, the Punjab and Haryana high court has come down heavily on the Punjab government over its continuous tinkering with the eligibility condition required to get admission to its 85% state quota seats of MBBS/BDS courses for the 2014-15 session and putting the careers of medical aspirants at stake.
The state government’s notification dated March 7 had made it mandatory for students to have passed Class 10, along with classes 11 and 12, from schools/ institutions located in Punjab to be eligible for its state medical quota, which virtually rendered hundreds of medical aspirants ineligible and forced them to file pleas in the high court.
While putting a stay over the Class-10 eligibility condition, the court headed by justice GS Sandhawalia stated in the interim order that the state defied logic and reasoning to continue tinkering with the settled system and putting the career of aspiring medical students on hold, totally non-responsive to the apprehensions expressed by this court over its earlier order dated April 26.
The court’s order dated April 26 was in response to its corrigendum issued in the state government notification that took back the Class-10 eligibility requirement from the recent notification but further created confusion by incorporating that a candidate would have to give an affidavit at the time of admission that he was an original resident of the state.
The court, in its order, stated that as per Para 6 of the reply by the state gover nment, the term ‘original resident’ was to be defined as candidates whose parents or grandparents had a residence in the reorganised Punjab on or after November 1, 1966.
However, this would further create another category of persons who would claim that they were residents of the state before this date also and their parents and grandparents might have resided in the undivided state of Punjab.
Acknowledging that there was a need for clarity on this issue, the court held, “The condition that a candidate should have passed his Class-10 examination from a recognised school/ institution situated in Punjab shall remain in abeyance.”
It added that there would be no need of the affidavit stated as required in the corrigendum. The only requirement now would be that of eligibility of 10+2 examination from a recognised school/institution from Punjab.
As far as the requirement for bona fide status is concerned, the court held that its eligibility would be as per Clause 17 of the Punjab government notification dated March 7, which is based upon the 1996 notification of the state government.
According to the 1996 notification, on which there is no dispute, a candidate who has lived in Punjab for five years or studied for two years in the state preceding the qualifying exam would fulfil the requirement for bona fide status.
The next hearing is scheduled for May 27 and the state government has been directed to a file a detailed reply.