Himachal Pradesh High Court– Deciding the writ petitions involving common questions of fact and law wherein the allocation of seats on the basis of roster points based on sub-groups in para 3.1 in the prospectus issued by the Department of Medical Education and Research, Himachal Pradesh and the notice issued regarding the 4 point roster has been challenged, the division bench of Rajiv Sharma and Sureshwar Thakur, JJ, held such allocation as arbitrary and unreasonable and the groups should have been treated as one group for the purpose of admission to MD/MS/MDS courses.
In the instant case, the petitioners have participated in the selection process seeking admission to MD/MS/MDS courses for the academic session 2015-18, according to the prospectus. As per para 3.1 of the prospectus, 66.6% of the State quota seats are to be filled up by in-service candidates. The in-service group comprises of two further sub-groups. Subsequently by the notice issued by the respondent-State, the first two seats would go to Regular and 3rd to Contractual and thereafter 4th to Regular (Medical Officers). Counsel for the petitioners contended that distribution of seats as per the sub-groups was impermissible and unconstitutional and merit should be the sole criterion for MD/MS and MDS courses. While counsels for the respondents contended that constituting of sub-groups was in accordance with law and also justified the preparation of roster.
With regard to the distribution of seats, the Court observed that in-service candidates and non-service candidates are two separate classes based on intelligible differentia, having a rationale relation with the object sought to be achieved, however, there could not be further micro classification on the basis of source of recruitment qua in-service candidates. Stating that the goal to be achieved by classification is that only meritorious candidates are admitted in postgraduate courses, the Court emphasized that the methodology adopted by the respondents by prescribing the roster points would promote only mediocracy and not merit. Consequently, the admissions made through first, second and third counseling were quashed and directed the respondents to redo the admissions based on merit only. Dr. Vivek Kumar Garg v. State of H.P., 2015 SCC OnLine HP 1374, decided on 18.6.2015