The HC asked the state to allow petitioners to apply online for state quota seats.
Mumbai: Stating that a Maharashtra government rule introduced in 2017 for aspirants wanting to pursue under graduate course in medicine was unjust, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has asked the state to allow the petitioners to apply online for the state quota seats.
While giving relief to nine aspirants, the court said that such last minute rules couldn’t be implemented and asked the state to include the aspirants in the admission process, even if they passed SSC from outside of Maharashtra.
The state has introduced a rule which stipulates that only those students can seek admission for the course who have passed the SSC board exams from Maharashtra.
A division bench of Justices Sunil Kotwal and Anoop Mohta was hearing writ petitions filed by nine students who were refused an opportunity to apply for admission to health science courses as they had not passed the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam from a school situated in the state. The refusal was in light of a new clause introduced by the government for NEET-UG 2017, which made it mandatory for the students to have passed from a state school. The petitioners had contended that though they were domiciles of Maharashtra they appeared for the SSC exams from outside the state. They however added that they had passed SSC prior to 2015 and thereafter done their HSC from Maharashtra. As the new clause has been added this year they were unable to apply online for the state quota of health science seats.
After hearing the contentions, the court held that the aspirants had a right to higher education in the state and the new clause was unreasonable. “In our view, such eleventh hour changes of criteria is unjust, unreasonable and affects the rights of further study. These rights just cannot be taken away by the state or respective authority by implementing such condition though they have power and authority to bring in and/or amend the policy decision,” said the court.
The court further directed the state to take steps to bring such policy by giving full and/or appropriate due public notice to the concerned students, so that before joining the course of 10th standard within or out of State of Maharashtra they would be in a position to take effective and appropriate steps/decisions in advance.
The court further said, “Respondents are directed to accept the application forms for admission to health science courses for the academic year 2017-18 from State quota and further process admission in accordance with the regulation, without insistence of S.S.C. certificate from institutes Maharashtra from the students