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Supreme Court adjourns hearing of National Medical Commission plea challenging order of Rajasthan High Court to allot seat for aspirant

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The Supreme Court today adjourned its hearing in an appeal filed by the National Medical Commission challenging the order of the Rajasthan High Court which had directed it to allow admission to a MBBS course aspirant by allocating one additional seat in any government medical college for the academic session 2020-2021.

A bench led by Justices L. Nageswara Rao, B.R. Gavai and B.V. Nagarathna adjourned the matter for two weeks. The Court had previously issued notice in a plea and said, “it will only consider the point whether the respondent/Student should be admitted to first year MBBS course for the academic year 2020-2021 or the 2021-2022.”

Petitioner denied seat for having biology as additional subject and not as main subject

The brief facts of the case are that the original petitioner/Sourabh Kumar Jeengar (respondent herein) appeared for NEET (UG), 2020 and secured NEET All India Rank at 87182 by securing 499 marks (percentile 93.5709828) and in Scheduled Caste Category, secured Category Rank at 3641. However, after registering himself for counselling under All India as well as State quota, he was denied allotment of any seat, in-spite of his merit, on the ground of having studied Biology, as an additional subject and not as main subject in Senior Secondary Examination. 

The petitioner relied upon the judgment of Delhi High Court by way of filing Writ Petition (Civil) No.6773/2018 [Tanishq Gangwar & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors.], wherein the court allowed the benefit of admission to the candidate on the basis of qualification of Senior Secondary with Biology as an additional subject. 

The Rajasthan High court observed that the eligibility criteria prescribed in Information Booklet issued from the office of Chairman, NEET UG Medical & Dental Admission/Counselling Board, 2020 clearly shows that the candidates who have passed 10+2 level with Biology as an additional subject will also be eligible for MBBS Entrance Exam as per Delhi High Court order dated 24.09.2019 passed in Writ Petition (C) No.6773/2019, subject to outcome of Special Leave Petitions/Appeals filed by Medical Council of India in the apex court. 

MBBS aspirant is a meritorious student: High Court

Accordingly, the High Court concluded that the petitioner is a meritorious student and he cannot be denied admission when the counselling board themselves have violated their own Information Booklet/Instructions which specifically provided that the candidates who have passed their 10+2 Level with Biology as an additional subject will be allowed, subject to outcome of the Special Leave Petition/Appeals and the respondent-State could not treat the petitioner ineligible for the purpose of admission to MBBS Course. 

Relying upon the order passed by the Apex Court in MA No.240/2021 in Writ Petition (C) No.76/2015 (Ashish Ranjan & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors.), the court also held that the petitioner has pursued his remedy expeditiously without delay and he cannot be denied relief because of the cut-off date.

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The High Court had held that; (i) No fault is attributed to the petitioner. (ii) The petitioner has pursued his right and legal remedy expeditiously without any delay. (iii) There is an omission on the part of the Authorities and breach of Rules and Instructions. (iv) The petitioner is more meritorious than the candidate who has been given admission in Schedule Caste Category. (v) The last date of admission, as has come on record, was extended by the Apex Court upto 15.02.2021 and the application for extension of time is still pending. (vi) The admission process for the Academic Session 2020- 2021 in the State of Rajasthan is said to be completed on 31.12.2020 and the course is said to have started from 01.02.2021.

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