The Bombay High Court has pulled up Maharashtra government over the newly-introduced rule which makes domicile certificate mandatory for seeking admission to medical courses.
Abrupt introduction of the rule would jeopardise the careers of students, the court observed, hearing petitions filed by Radhika Jayaswal and Katha Vaidya who cleared the entrance test for medical course but could not produce a domicile certificate as they have not stayed in the state for 15 years as required.
The court had on June 24 asked the government to consider their cases on merit for admission, without insisting on domicile certificate.
The rule has been introduced by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research. The court noted that until last year this rule did not exist.
“This action….is nothing but use of unreasonable and arbitrary power,” said the bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohota.
“They have brought in such a rule abruptly without giving proper communication and notice to the students,” the HC said.
The petitioners had taken MH-CET examination last year too and though selected for BDS and MBBS courses in private colleges, they opted out and took the examination this year again.
“Now they are faced with a situation where they are permanently denied admission inmedical courses in the state of Maharashtra for want of domicile certificate, which was never the requirement till last year,” the court said.
“Respondents being concerned with higher standard of education in the medical field, from time to time, based on the material and reasons available to them, declare policies.
But such policy/rules should not have the effect of destroying the career of students in such fashion.
“Therefore….we are inclined to record that such policy and amendment to the rules…cannot create hurdles in permitting the petitioners from pursuing any medical course in this academic year 2014-15,” the court observed.
Jayaswal and Vaidya were studying in Maharashtra from the seventh standard after their parents migrated to the state in 2007.
The court noted that for getting admission even in their native states, the petitioners must pass standard 10th and 12th examinations there, so the abrupt introduction of domicile rule in Maharashtra created a situation where they could not take admission anywhere in the country.
The judges asked the government to file an additional affidavit by July 22, explaining its stand.