Rashid Paul

Un-amended Reservation Rule 2005 will govern the process: HC

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Selection to different post graduate, diploma courses in medicine

Srinagar May 01: Un-amended Reservation Rule 2005 will govern the process for selection to different post graduate and diploma courses in medicine, the J&K High Court has said.

Disposing off a petition by a number of open category meritorious candidates, who pleaded that the un-amended Reservation Rule 2005 has been operating harshly, giving advantage to the reserved categories beyond proportions, a division bench of the High Court held that the Rule 2005 will continue to govern the latest selection process for the post graduation courses of the doctors.

A division bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey after hearing the contending parties held that the argument of the open category candidates is unacceptable, observing “once a process of admission has been initiated in accordance with applicable rules; same has to be concluded in accordance with rules as were in place already”.

“Amended Rule 17 has an effect vis-à-vis position of the reservations,” the bench said.

Though un-amended Rule 17 operates harshly but in absence of challenge thereto, same has to be applied as being in place when admission process was initiated because Rule 17 was amended on 30th of January, 2018. It will apply to the next process of admission not to the Admission 2018 already initiated,” the court said.

It thus upheld the single bench judgment except for the modification to the extent that the quashment of  Note 7 of Public Notice (No.006-BOPEE of 2018) on 3rd of February 2018, saying it shall remain restricted only to the extent it refers to SRO 49 and not to SRO 48.

The entrance examination for the post graduate courses was conducted through National Eligibility cum Entrance (NEET) on 7th of January 2018.

As per the un-amended Reservation Rule, a reserved category candidate, if selected against the open merit seat, may also be considered for allotment of discipline, stream, college allocable to him in his respective category on the basis of his merit and preference.

The National Board of Examinations had issued notice for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Post Graduate) for admission to MD/MS/post graduate diploma courses 2018 admission session on 30 October last year. Examination was held and results were declared in the last week of January.

The NEET-PG is an eligibility-cum-ranking examination prescribed as the single entrance examination to various MD/MS and PG diploma courses.

Vide Public Notice (No.76-BOPEE of 2017) on 2nd of November 2017, (Board of Professionals Entrance Examination (BOPEE) had issued instructions, asking aspirants belonging to reservation group except scheduled caste and scheduled tribe to tick the OM category as otherwise their application forms could not be submitted.

The candidates belonging to reservation categories had to be in possession of valid category certificates on last date of submission of forms—27 November 2017 and the category certificates issued after the date were declared not to be accepted.

After receipt of the result from National Board of Examinations (NBE), BOPEE had stated that further action would be initiated to prepare the provisional state merit list and update the category status of the candidates.

The candidates who qualified the examination as per the cut off merit fixed by NBE were required to register themselves online and upload the documents on the BOPEE website as per the notified schedule.

On January 30, SROs 48 and 49 were notified by the J&K Departments of ARI & Trainings and Social Welfare. While as SRO 48 pertained to the amendment providing for weight- age for serving in difficult areas whereas SRO 49, Rule 15 and 17 related to substitution of  the J&K Reservation Rules.

As the rank position of the candidates was issued by the NEET on February 15 a number of candidates challenged the decision before J&K High Court which restricted the matter to single question whether amendment to Rule 17 of the J&K Reservation Rules, 2005, made in terms of SRO 49 of 2018 process of selection would apply retrospectively or prospectively.

Ultimately it held that it will apply prospectively, noticing that the process of admission was initiated by NEET in October 2017 and results were declared on 23rd January 2018.

Amending the Rule on 30th of January 2018 amounts to changing the rule of the game in the middle of the process which was impermissible, the court said.

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