Beginning next year,candidates vying for medical seats under the 50 per cent all India quota may have to visit a lawyer before they turn up for counselling. The Directorate General of Health Services Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that it was mulling to ask students to provide affidavits,pledging they would not vacate seats midway to take up a better course elsewhere.
The SC has over the past 20 years laid down procedures in a series of directives on 50 per cent all India quota,maximum three rounds of counselling,forfeiture of seats to be followed by the DGHS and the Medical Council of India for admissions.
The DGHS,concerned over candidates leaving for better courses in state colleges,believes its proposal would help ensure all-India quota seats are filled up by court-mandated third round of counselling and that vacant seats are not transferred to states.
Additional Solicitor General Sidharth Luthra stressed the necessity of affidavits from students after the court expressed concern that states could be delaying counselling so that seats under the all-India quota get transferred to them and they could fill them at whim. It is indeed a systemic failure,requiring some concrete regulation. States may be playing a fraud to have these seats transferred to them. If they intentionally delay counselling when the DGHS is bound to have only three rounds of counselling,the seats would eventually go to them. States are playing with the system and it must be fixed, said a bench of Justices A K Patnaik and K S Khehar.
Luthra told the court that 1651 post-graduate quota seats in medical and dental courses are lying vacant because students have left for better courses in state colleges.
He,however,argued against extended counselling this session when petitioner Dr Fraz Naseem and others pleaded for a fourth round of counselling to ensure that all India seats are not transferred to states,which,they argued,defeats the very purpose of national merit list, Such a move,Luthra said,would not take nearly 40 days and could prompt scores of candidates who have given up their rights after the third round of counselling to move court for a reconsideration.
The bench,which had on July 3 restrained states from filling up seats under the all India quota,then posted the case for Thursday and indicated that it would pass orders on that day after examining all aspects of the sensitive matter.