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High Court turns down UT medical eligibility rule

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has cancelled the UT administration’s regulations that made it mandatory for MBBS aspirants to clear class 12 from a Chandigarh school. The eligibility rule was even applicable to bona fide candidates who were hoping to secure admission in the 77 reserved seats for the city pool at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32.

A division bench comprising Justice KK Kannan called the policy faulty while upholding the petition from Akanksha Mehra. The justice further directed the administration to admit Mehra to the MBBS course under the UT pool.

As the medical admissions for this academic year were already over under these rules, the HC clarified that its decision will not be effective from this year. However, the administration was directed to admit Mehra against one seat reserved for her.

Rajiv Kataria, the counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner termed the administration’s policy on MBBS admissions as ‘unjustified’. Interestingly, the policy allowed a candidate who had studied for eleven years at an institution outside Chandigarh to be eligible for the reserved UT seats. He/she is eligible to do so simply by clearing the class 12 exam from a school in the city.

Mehra moved the HC challenging the administration’s condition which read “A candidate should have passed the class 12 examination as a regular student from a school or college recognized by the UT administration and situated in the Union Territory of Chandigarh”.  The petitioner further added that the administration’s rule had exempted children of serving defense personnel and ex-servicemen vide its letter no. 19/1/3-IH (3)-2007/18322 dated September 14, 2007.

Kataria said that the new MBBS admission criterion was really making things hard for bona fide city residents. “It amounts to a violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution and is against the principles of reservation in educational institutes”, he added.

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