Graduates from medical colleges affiliated to deemed universities in the state can now pursue post-graduate degree and diploma courses in state-run medical colleges.
The Bombay High Court, on Friday, said these students were eligible to appear for the common entrance test held for admitting students to post-graduate medical courses in state-run medical colleges (PGM-CET).
The decision is likely to benefit thousands of students. The state had earlier held that MBBS degree holders from deemed universities were ineligible for the CET. These students were denied admission to post-graduate medical courses in colleges affiliated to the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS).
Some students challenged the decision. Their lawyer, V.M. Thorat, had contended that clauses in the procedure for selection for post-graduate (PG) medical courses were discriminatory and violated the Constitutional mandate of equality.
The state had defended the decision saying graduates from deemed universities can be allowed only if the universities allow their PG seats to be filled from the PGM-CET merit list.
The court observed that graduates from deemed universities from outside the state were allowed to appear for PGM-CET and do their post graduation from state-run institutions under the 50 per cent all-India quota.
“When students from outside the state become eligible, affiliation to MUHS becomes irrelevant,” the judges said. “The state cannot discriminate between students, who appear for PGM-CET once it gives up domicile or residence.”
That contention failed to impress the division bench of Justice F.I. Rebello and Justice Mridula Bhatkar. The bench held that any restriction based on university-specific degree holders was abhorrent to the mandate of equality guaranteed under section 14 of the Constitution of India.