In a major relief to around 1,750 students seeking admission for undergraduate and postgraduate (PG) medical and dental courses, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court said that these students will be entitled to reservation under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) category for the academic year 2019-20. On Thursday, the bench dismissed the petition filed by students from open category seeking a stay on the recent ordinance promulgated by the state government in this regard.
The state’s ordinance issued on May 20 had introduced an amendment to the SEBC Reservation Act, 2018, to remove the legal hurdles in implementation of Maratha reservation in PG medical and dental courses in the state this year. A new clause was added to the Act that fixed the last day to apply for admission to the courses, for which admissions were conducted through national entrance tests such as National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), as the cut-off day for implementing the quota.
Interestingly, the ordinance was aimed to provide relief to 250 students from the Maratha community whose admissions to PG medical and dental courses were cancelled. However, with the Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC’s order, about 1,500 students from the Maratha community will also be entitled to admission in undergraduate medical courses through Maratha quota.
The Supreme Court on June 4 had directed the Maharashtra government to hold the last round of counselling for PG medical and dental seats by June 14. Further, the apex court also ruled that no petition or application in relation to admission in this year would be entertained by any court.
Earlier, the SEBC Act had fixed the beginning of entrance test process as the cut-off date for all courses, which resulted in legal challenges to Maratha quota in PG dental and medical courses in the state, as the application process for entrance tests for these courses began on October 16 and November 2, respectively, much before the Act became a law on November 30.
Dr Harshal Padekar, who will be entitled to reservation under SEBC Act, said had the ordinance not withstood the trial of courts, all medical PG aspirants from the community would have suffered a year loss.
Reservation expert Balasaheb Sarate said the High Court has upheld the validity of the ordinance which is a victory for students from the Maratha community seeking admission in undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in the current academic year.
- The state’s ordinance issued on May 20 had introduced an amendment to the SEBC Reservation Act, 2018, to remove the legal hurdles in implementation of Maratha reservation in PG medical and dental courses in the state this year
- Ordinance was aimed at providing relief to 250 PG med students from the community
- With the HC’s order, about 1,500 students will be entitled to admission in UG med courses through Maratha quota.