Bom HC | State Govt. declares ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT entrance tests not to be valid eligibility for MBA/MMS courses, instead only MS-CET, CMAT and CET to be valid: Read HC’s decision on Government Circular

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of Dipankar Datta, CJ and G.S. Kulkarni, J., observed that

“…any action on the part of the State Government and more particularly when it is affecting the education prospects of the students, is required to be reasonable and of a nature which would not adversely affect the candidates by any sudden change in the admission criteria.”

Issue which cropped up in the instant petition was :

Whether it was legal and proper for the State Government to issue Circular dated 16-03-2020 to the effect that from the current academic year 2020-21, for admissions to the MBA and MMS Courses, candidates who have appeared for the GMAT, MAT and ATMA and XAT examinations would not be eligible to participate in the admission process and only those candidates who have appeared for the MAH-MBA/MMS CET, GMAT and CAT examinations (collectively “the MS-CET”) shall only be considered eligible.

The above-stated impugned Government Circular recorded that a proposal to make a consequential amendment to the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission to the Full-Time Professional Undergraduate Technical Courses) Rules, 2017 is being undertaken.

Analysis and Decision

Quota for Admission

Bench observed that the candidates score at the ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT was considered to be valid criteria for admission to the 15% quota for admission to MBA/MMS courses up to the academic year 2019-20 as per the State Rules in vogue.

Students who intended to pursue the MBA and MMS courses were under a valid assumption that the same criteria would be continued for the next academic year namely 2020-21.

Petitioners who intended avail the above-stated benefits had accordingly planned to appear for the ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT which was to be held in or about July, 2020.  Since the said option was open, petitioners decided against appearing at the MH-CET which was conducted by the State Admission Authority.

Further, the Court noted that after MH-CET was conducted, the State Government issued the impugned circular changing the criteria for admission to MBA/MMS courses by cancelling the eligibility of students who would undertake the ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT which was so far held to be a valid examination for such admissions.

Bench found the above-stated decision to be arbitrary for the State Government. The consequence which emerged from such action is quite far-reaching.

Petitioners and such similarly placed students never in the wildest of their imagination thought that they would be rendered ineligible for the MMS/MBA courses having decided not to appear for MS-CET and that this would prove fatal to their prospect of securing an admission in the 15% seats, for which the eligibility criteria, was of the candidate having appeared at the ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT, being a valid criteria as on the date the MS-CET was conducted.

Bench clearly worded its order while stating that the consequence of the impugned Government Circular is harsh and drastic for the students who intended to secure admission to the MBA/MMS course on the basis of ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT entrance tests.

Adding to the above reasoning and findings, Court stated that it would have been reasonable for the State Government to notify such change in the admission criteria well in advance so that the students could have a reasonable period to prepare themselves and avail the opportunity of appearing at the MS-CET.

Hence, Court placed its finding in the instant case that the petitioners were deprived of the opportunity to appear for the MS-CET, in which they would have otherwise appeared if they were to be aware of the change in criteria well in advance.

Before parting, Bench observed that it has considered the reasonableness of the impugned Government Circular from the point of view of its applicability for present academic year. 

“…it is certainly within the powers of the educational authorities to provide for appropriate admission criteria as also to take appropriate strict action if admissions are procured on bogus documents.”

Decision

  • The impugned decision as contained in the Government Circular dated 16 March 2020 declaring that the results of ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT entrance tests not be valid eligibility criteria for admissions to the MBA/MMS courses and only the Maharashtra State CET, CMAT and CET would be considered as valid entrance examinations, shall not operate for admissions being made for the academic year 2020-21 and may operate from the next academic year 2021-22.
  • Respondents are directed to consider the petitioner’s eligibility for admission on the basis of ATMA, XAT, MAT, GMAT examinations for the admission process being undertaken for the current academic year 2020-21.

[Anmol Jagdish Baviskar v. Minister, Higher and Technical Education Department Mumbai; 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 3853, decided on 11-12-2020]


Advocates who appeared for the matter:

Sachin Dhakephalkar, for the Petitioners.

B.V. Samant, AGP for the State.

Rui A.Rodrigues, for Respondent 3 (CET).

2 comments

  • Why is the cet website not updated with this notice, I am yet not able to apply with my MAT percentile. Colleges are commenting it will be updated on website , but no progress.
    Please help!

  • What about our fees which we have payed whil filling entrance form?

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