Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the judgment quashing Allahabad High Court’s  decision in the matter relating to Institutional Preference, the  Bench of Deepak Gupta and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. held that admissions to post-graduate courses in central universities cannot be regulated by the concerned States and that benefit to doctors serving in Provincial Medical Health Services (PMHS) for admissions to post-graduate courses should be allowed irrespective of their State of graduation.

The High Court had set aside the institutional preference at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on its own cognizance without even including AMU, BHU as well as the selected candidates as parties to the case and had also held that Regulation 9(iv) of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations 2000 does not give benefit to doctors who had completed their MBBS/BDS outside the State of UP.

The Court, relying on Saurabh Chaudri v. Union of India, (2003) 11 SCC 146, upheld the 50% institutional preference in AMU and BHU. It further held that Regulation 9(iv) of the 2000 Regulations does not create any divide or distinction between doctors, and extends to even those doctors who had served in remote areas under PMHS but did their graduation from an institution outside the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Court said that once the graduate doctors are selected and join the medical health service in the State of U.P., they form part of one service, i.e. PMHS and when these doctors are posted to remote or difficult areas they are posted as doctors of PMHS and not on the basis as to which State they have done their graduation from.

The court also allowed AMU, BHU and other Government run medical institutions in the state to fill up the vacant seats till 12.06.2017 disposing off all the civil appeals and interlocutory application(s) related to the State of UP in WP No. 76 of 2015. [Dr. Saurabh Dwivedi v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 638, decided on 07-06-2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: The petitioner approached the Court under Article 226 challenging the validity of the Ordinance for Admission to LLM Course insofar as it provides that 80% seats shall be filled up from amongst Lucknow University Law Graduates that is, the petition challenged the institutional reservation in the University.

The counsel for petitioner cited Dr. Pradeep Jain v. Union of India,  (1984) 3 SCC 654, in which the Supreme Court though upheld the institutional reservation, but only to a reasonable extent i.e. up to 50% of the total seats contending that the ordinance ran contrary to this judgment and also, the subsequent judgment, Saurabh Chaudri  v. Union of India, (2003) 11 SCC 146, which reiterated what the Court held in Pradeep Jain. It was further contended that the twin test of reasonable classification is not satisfied if the ordinance comes into operation. The twin test is (i) reasonable classification based on some intelligible differentia and (ii) the justifiability on the basis of the nexus between the classification and the object sought to be achieved.

The counsel for respondent contended exactly opposite of what the petitioner contended and further argued that the National Law Universities and other Universities including private Universities have adopted grading system in their Universities and as such the students of these Universities are securing more marks (up to 90%) in LL.B. Examination, whereas the students of the University are generally securing 70-75% marks and hence, in absence of grading system in the University, students of the University are not in a position to get admission in other Universities.

On hearing both the parties, the Court observed that by the impugned Ordinance two classes of the applicants, who appeared for Admission to LLM Course run by the University as identifiable groups of candidates have been created; the one class of candidates are those who are Lucknow University Law Graduates and other class of applicants are those who are having their Bachelor’s Degree in Law from other institutions/Universities.

The Court noticed that the reason given is that institutional reservation to the extent of 80% seats is being provided to secure the interest of students passing their Bachelor’s Degree Course from the University and even, no statistical data was submitted by the University as a step in defending the ordinance. As a result, the writ petition was allowed and ordinance was accordingly struck down and it was directed to re-frame the ordinance in consonance with the laws laid down by the Supreme Court. [Atul v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2017 SCC OnLine All 444, decided on 14.02.2017]