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Delhi HC directs Centre to allocate MBBS seat to bravery award winner

The Delhi High Court has in a recent order directed the Union of India to allocate a supernumerary medical seat to an Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) Bravery Award winner for the MBBS course, 2019, which was reserved for National Bravery Awardees.

The division bench of Justice Asha Menon and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw was hearing an appeal by the Union against the judgment dated June 19, 2020 passed by the single judge bench directing the allocation of the seat to the respondent (Samridhi Sushil Sharma).

Earlier, W.P.(C) No.10722/2019 was filed by Samridhi Sushil Sharma, seeking a direction to the Union of India Ministry of Women and Child Development, to nominate her for the MBBS course, 2019 against the seat reserved for the National Bravery Awardees, in NSCB Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, in terms of Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Office Memorandum (OM) dated 16th August, 2019.

The Union of India opposed the claim of the respondent in the writ petition, contending that the respondent was the awardee of the National Bravery Award instituted by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW), a Non-Governmental Organisation but with which the Union of India had disassociated as far back as in the year 2018, pursuant to revamping of the Scheme of the National Child Award of Exceptional Achievements, renamed as the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, and after the Union of India had so disassociated, the seats were meant for the awardees of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar only.

The single bench did not accept the contention of the Union of India and allowed the writ petition of the respondent, directing that the respondent be recommended by the appellants UOI for being admitted to the MBBS course for the academic year 2020-2021, based on her result of the NEET examination held for the academic year 2019-2020. Therefore the Union of India challenged the single bench judgment in the division bench.

The counsel for the appellants states that the last date for admission is December 31, 2020 and the respondent has not been recommended for admission or admitted as yet. He further stated that though it had reserved an extra seat apart from the 2 originally reserved, in compliance with the Single Judge bench’s order, it was opposing the allocation because while the awardee was the winner of the National Bravery Award instituted by the ICCW, a Non-Governmental Organisation, but with which the Union had disassociated as far back as 2018.

The Bench, while considering the appeal, observed, “Since under the OM dated 16th August, 2019, there were only two seats allocated, none else can claim an additional seat, as a matter of right. The third seat which has got released for this year is in the nature of a supernumerary seat, the benefit whereof can be availed of by the respondent only and not by anyone else.”

“The respondent also today has been placed in a position where there is no time left for her to consider any other option and also because there is no possibility of any other candidate for MBBS course in the academic year 2020-2021 securing the said supernumerary seat, even if were to not be allocated to the respondent,”

-the court observed directing the Union to allocate the seat to the ICCW awardee.

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The Court also clarified that the benefit of this order shall not be available to any other awardee of ICCW.

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