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There is no reason to deny admission to a person belonging to ST category in a medical course just because he changed his surname, the Bombay High Court ruled.

The court was hearing the plea of a medical graduate, Shantunu Hari Bhardwaj, who contended that he had all the official documents to support his claim for the ST category and his new surname was already notified in the Government gazette. He said that the move by the college was illegal and arbitrary.

Observing that merely adopting a different surname had no bearing on the caste of a person, the High Court in an interim relief asked the respondents to “consider” Bhardwaj’s claim, provided all documents supporting his caste and surname were in place.

The government pleader was asked to pass on the order to the concerned college authority.

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