In an interim order on Tuesday, Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the eligibility condition of 'Class 10 from Punjab schools', as contained in the recent notification of the Punjab government regarding admission to its 85% state quota seats in the MBBS/BDS courses for 2014-15 session.
A notification of the Punjab government dated March 7 had made it mandatory for students to have passed Class 10 from a school situated in Punjab along with Class 11 and 12 to be eligible for the state quota, which virtually rendered hundreds of aspirants ineligible and forced them to file several litigations in the HC.
In the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, the court held that the notification regarding change in its eligibility criteria had come three months after students had already applied for the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), which is the qualifying examination for getting admission in Punjab's state medical quota too.
Observing that the "rules of the game can't be changed once the game has begun", the court directed the state government to clarify its stand on the issue on the next date of hearing, May 27.
The detailed interim order of the court is yet to be released.
Earlier, in the hearing, the state government filed its reply in its bid to bring clarity on its recent corrigendum dated April 24, which took out the Class-10 clause to its bona fide residents but on a condition that a candidate would have to produce a certificate declaring that he or she is an original resident of Punjab. However, the state would consider only those 'original residents' whose family has been living in Punjab on and after re-organisation of Punjab on November 1, 1966.
On this, counsels appearing for the affected students said the new interpretation of 'original resident' would create heaps of litigations and further traumatise the aspirants.
One of the counsels, Gurminder singh, a senior advocate, argued that the students were in extreme tension over the recent changes in the eligibility criteria.
To this, the court said that till the final settlement of the case, the state government's notification of 1996 would remain in operation. According to that notification, a candidate lived in Punjab for five years or studied two years in Punjab preceding the qualifying exam would be eligible for its state quota.