Comed-K hopefuls get a reprieve

The High Court on Friday annulled the first round of counselling for the postgraduate dental courses under the Comed-K, held on May 19, and ruled that the process be conducted afresh on May 29.

File photo

The ruling followed writ petitions filed by students who were barred from participating in the counselling for bringing “faulty” demand drafts (DDs).

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri observed that the Comed-K should soften its stance vis-a-vis students who flouted the rules unknowingly.

Describing the Comed-K decision as “arbitrary, unreasonable, capricious and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution,” Juhi Moolchand Talesra, Pinal Mahendra Jain, Amrita Chakraborty and others moved the court on May 22, challenging its “rigidity” in implementing the rules.

“The students rushed to the nearest nationalised banks and bought fresh DDs, and immediately submitted them to the Comed-K officials, but they were given no leeway. The Comed-K did not publish the list of nationalised banks in the first place,” Ajay Patil, counsel for the students, submitted.

In defence, Comed-K counsel Madhusudan R Naik said one of the aggrieved students, Rinku Shankalesha Ramesh, in an email to the Comed-K at 10:04 am on May 19, admitted to bringing a DD from a non-nationalised bank.

Disputing the claim, the student said she had brought a demand draft from the Bank of Maharashtra, but was told that it was not a nationalised bank.

Patil rebutted Naik’s contention and said the DD number was not furnished by the Comed-K to buttress its claims. Justice Hinchigeri said she might have succumbed to anxiety and shot off the e-mail.

The court also sought to know whether some other students should have been disallowed for not getting the original bank counterfoils signed and sealed by the appropriate authorities.

Students can’t be blamed

The judge observed that the students could not be blamed if the bankers forgot to seal the counterfoils.

Observing that the system should honour performance of meritorious candidates, Justice Hinchigeri directed the Comed-K to redo the counselling and publish a list of all eligible candidates. “It is open to the respondents (Comed-K) or any college to examine eligibility of the petitioners.

The petition is allowed,” the judge said. The court also directed the Comed-K to publish the list of nationalised banks and set up a help desk and if desired, scrutinise the documents a day before the counselling.

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