The Punjab and Haryana high court has upheld the Punjab government’s March 7 notification laying down the requirement of having passed Class 12 from a school in Punjab, apart from residential status of the state, for admission to MBBS/BDS courses within the 85% state medical quota.
Justice K Kannan, while dismissing a petition filed by MBBS aspirant Shamy Jindal, said, “The notification prescribing the residential status in Punjab and also requiring 10+2 (Class 12) is founded on a primacy of importance to ‘local candidates’, a practice adopted literally by every state government and what has found judicial approbation in the Supreme Court as well.”
The court remarked that if the state government had made it mandatory to pass Class 12 from any institute located in the state that has groomed a candidate for admission to a medical college, it could not be said to be arbitrary.
The state government had kept the petitioner out of the reckoning within the 85% state quota on the ground that she had finished her Class 12 schooling from Delhi, not Punjab.
However, the petitioner, a permanent resident of Mansa, had staked a claim for admission to a medical college as a resident of Punjab and had contended that she was born in Punjab, although not residing in the state, and hence she was entitled to be treated as a Punjab resident for getting admission within the 85% state medical quota. She had challenged the state government’s March 7 notification that had set out the eligibility criterion.
Finding the state government’s notification justified, justice Kannan expressed, “It is expected that a person who passes out of the college also serves within the state where he or she studied that would benefit the public in that state. As parochial as it might seem, there have been regional aspirations from various states of empowering the respective states, preference to the candidate domiciled in the state or who have studied from an institution established within the state.”
Justice Kannan added, “From a larger perspective of pan-Indian growth, it might seem deleterious but in the strength of various states as units each clamouring for better performance, there is bound to be a sum of a national prosperity as well.”
The state government as well as Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, had contended that a resident of Punjab could not merely be a person who was born in Punjab originally as set forth in the policy issued by the state government on June 6, 1996. It was submitted that the 1996 policy was modified as the department of medical education and research had added the requirement of passing Class 12 from a recognised institution situated in the state.