In a major relief to students from Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to interfere with state rules providing reservation for local students which were challenged by private-unaided colleges and minority institutes for MBBS and BDS courses.
The state now plans to carry out admissions under National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). It can finalise and publish the selection list based on 85 per cent state domicile criterion. This list had been put on hold by the court till it gave orders in the matter.
The remaining 15 per cent is not NRI quota but institutional quota, according to the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak said following of the state rules would not cause any prejudice to such institutes and it was unlikely that the required 85 per cent would remain unfilled.
The court, however, pointed out that granting any interim relief might delay the admission process which has to be completed by September 30, according to Supreme Court orders.
Mahatma Gandhi Vidyamandir’s KBH Dental College & Hospital and some students have challenged the rules, which allow for regional reservations and reservations in favour of local students, questioning how such domicile rules could especially be applied to private unaided colleges.
Advocate V M Thorat appearing for the petitioners had argued, “We are bound to lose our reputation by admitting less meritorious students if we follow the domicile rules.”
The government had maintained that the state domicile rules are required to protect the interest of students from Maharashtra who cannot take admissions in other states, owing to similar polices in place there.
According to the government, if a student had passed Class X and XII from Maharashtra, he or she did not require a domicile certificate for the academic year 2016-17.
Meanwhile, Senior Counsel Mihir Desai appearing for P A Inamdar, chairman of a minority institute in Pune for dentistry, argued against the common admission process and had challenged the state domicile rules. The court has kept the matter for final hearing in three weeks.
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