In a relief to the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) students, the High Court has passed an interim order permitting them to appear in the examination as well to participate in the counselling process to be conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA).
A vacation division bench headed by Justice R Devdas passed this order on the petitions filed by OCI students aspiring to study Engineering and other professional courses in Karnataka.
According to the petitioners, the notification dated March 4, 2021, issued by the central government, makes them eligible for admission only against any NRI or any supernumerary seat. The vacation bench cited the interim order passed by the Supreme Court in Dr Radhika Thappetta vs Union of India case on February 8, 2022, and permitted the OCI students to register and appear in the examination and also to participate in the counselling process to professional courses.
“It is also made clear that as directed by the Supreme Court that the OCI students are also permitted to be treated on par with the Indian students and allowed to apply for any course/courses including Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) for the academic year 2022-23. This relief is not restricted only to the petitioners herein. The respondent-authorities are required to extend this benefit to all similarly situated candidates,” the bench has said.
The counsel for KEA argued that the benefit extended by the Supreme Court was limited to academic year 2021-22. The vacation bench noted that since the challenge to the March 4, 2021 notification, issued by the central government, has not been decided by the apex court, the benefit of top court’s February 8, 2022 interim order has to be extended to the petitioners before the High Court for the academic year 2022-23.
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