The Punjab and Haryana high court has deprecated the role of the Punjab government and imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on a Patiala college for “unnecessarily” trying to stall admission of a daughter of former army Major, who was killed in anti-terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir, to the MBBS course.
“Unnecessary objections had been raised by respondents, putting the petitioner and her family to hardships despite the sacrifice her father had made for the country,” the high court bench said while confirming the admission and imposing a cost of Rs 20,000 on a Patiala medical college. The student’s father was killed in an encounter with militants in October 1999 and was recognised as battle casualty.
The girl, now a student of Government Medical College, Patiala, had qualified the Punjab Pre Medical Entrance Test (PMET 2015-16), but at the time of admission in September 2015, several objections were raised about the validity of certificate of battle casualty since it was issued by the army headquarters and not countersigned by district sainik welfare officer and the director, defence services, Punjab.
The girl had got the counter signatures on certificate of the secretary, Zila Sainik Board, Panchkula, since her father was a native of Haryana. At one point, she was told that if objections were not removed, the seat allotted would be offered to the student in waiting list. Left with no option, she approached the high court, which gave direction of provisional admission on September 24, 2015.
In court, the Punjab government took a stand that the reservation was only meant for the candidates who were dependents of the defence personnel belonging to Punjab and not to the other states. But the high court observed that the girl studied from SAS Nagar (Mohali) and her mother belonged to Sangrur in Punjab. “There should be no dispute that she would be entitled for admission on the strength of having passed her Class 12 and her mother owned property in Punjab,” high court said.
Army headquarters had sent all requisite certificates, which were objected by respondents and certificate being issued by army headquarter was not required to be countersigned, the high court bench said, adding that it was unfortunate that ward of a ex-serviceman, killed in terror operation was put to such a hardship and put in a zone of uncertainty for one year.