Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Sanjay Yadav and Rajendra Kumar Srivastava, JJ., dismissed a writ petition which was raised alleging disproportionate distribution of increased Post Graduate Medical seats in Clinical and Non-Clinical subjects. The Petitioner sought to strike down complete process of admission in Post Graduate Medical seats through NEET-PG 2020 and that the respondents be restrained from allotting the seats to EWS quota candidates by reducing the seats of unreserved category students.

It was contended that vide said communication dated 17-01-2019, Chief Secretaries of all State Governments/Union Territories were requested to give effect to the provisions of 103rd Amendment of the Constitution for all higher educational institutions funded/aided, directly or indirectly, by the State Government in such manner that the provision for reservation for EWS would become operational from academic year 2019-20. It was urged that in the State of Madhya Pradesh, 187 seats have been increased under Section 10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 for EWS category which was disputed by the Deputy Advocate General and it was urged that as per MCI’s letter dated 20-02-2020, 87 seats were needed to be increased for implementation of 10% EWS quota and not 187, as contended. Be that as it may, there is no cogent material on record to establish that the seats under 10% EWS quota for academic session 2020-21 were increased by 187. Therefore, the contention to said effect made on behalf of the petitioner is discarded.

Dwelling on the contention regarding actual distribution of Post Graduate medical seats in various streams, it was urged on behalf of the respondents/State that they include Post Graduate medical seats for PWD candidates which are 22 displayed on MP Online Portal and DME website; therefore, it is contended that there are 420 Post Graduate medical seats and not 398, as depicted by the petitioner. Respondents have further justified allocation of 14, 16 and 7 seats in General Medicine, General Surgery and Ophthalmology respectively for UR category which, it was urged, amounted to 40% of the seats reserved for the said category.

The Court discussed in detail the 103rd amendment of the of the Constitution of India and concluded that Amendment enables the State to make provision for not more than 10% reservation to economically weaker sections who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Socially & Educationally Backward Classes, to receive the benefits of reservation on a preferential basis, meaning thereby that a class to be determined as EWS out of General Category are to be provided 10% reservation. In other words, with 50% reservation already in existence in favour of ST/SC/OBC, out of remaining 50%, 10% reservation is carved out for EWS, which leaves the unreserved category with 40% reservation.

The Court after carefully studying the distribution of seats as submitted by the respondents came to a conclusion that though total number of seats have been increased from 155 of the year 2019 to 160 of the year 2020 but, the respondents/State, without proper application of mind, has reduced the clinical seats for general category as compared to the previous year. The Court finally found that the contention that the reservation exceeds 50% was belied.

The Court dismissed the petition finding that there was no substance in the challenge.[Kanishk Bhandari v. State of M.P., Writ Petition No. 7831 of 2020, decided on 14-07-2020]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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