PG medical aspirants move Mumbai High Court, challenge scrapping of admissions
A group of postgraduate (PG) medical aspirants filed a petition in the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday, challenging the state common entrance test (CET) cell’s decision to cancel seats allotted in the first and second rounds of admission and call for fresh preferences from all students.
The candidates, in their petition, claim they had already taken loans and paid fees after being assigned seats. Stating that they would suffer a loss if the process was to start afresh, the students have sought restoration of the first two admission rounds.
However, the counsel for the CET cell said the state deputy secretary had directed the commissioner of the cell to announce that the selection list will be stayed to prepare another one, based on fresh preferences within the next seven days.
A vacation bench of justice SM Gavhane, while hearing the writ petition filed by Dr Sandhya Lone through advocate Pradnya Talekar, was told that after the HC and the Supreme Court (SC) struck down the implementation of 16% quota for the socially and educationally backward category (SEBC) — which provides reservation to the Maratha community— for PG medical courses in the current academic year, the CET cell had scrapped the first two lists and announced that fresh rounds of admissions would be conducted.
This, Talekar said, “prejudiced the interests of the candidates who had been assigned seats for which they had paid fees after taking loans”. She further said the HC order had implied that the 16% quota seats, which will fall vacant, have to be filled up based on the preferences already filled-in by candidates. By scrapping the two lists and calling for fresh rounds of admission, Talekar said, the state CET cell had “misinterpreted the court orders” and this was “arbitrary and unfair”.
Talkar also argued that according to section 54 of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) Act, fresh preference lists cannot be called for under any circumstance, and hence, the CET cell’s decision must be scrapped. “The court orders held that the SEBC reservation shall not be applicable to present admission process and necessary modification was directed to be made to the seats reserved for SEBC by allotting them proportionately to other categories as per the rules applicable prior to SEBC reservation act. The SC has also upheld the judgment of the HC,” said Talekar.
The court has issued notices to the state and posted the matter for hearing on May 17.