The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and the Medical Council of India on a plea challenging the nativity criterion introduced by the Kerala government for admission to medical courses.
A vacation bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha also sought a response from the Kerala government on a writ petition filed by K M Navas, executive trustee of Kozhikode-based KMCT Medical College.
Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, along with advocate Y Shiva Santosh, representing the petitioner, contended that due to the nativity criterion in the state's undergraduate and postgraduate prospectus, the institution was unable to access central counselling which hinged on accessing and admitting an all-India pool of students.
“This nativity criterion is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution as it is manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable, irrational, discriminatory and makes an unreasonable classification,” their petition stated.
The court fixed the matter for consideration on Friday. According to the MCI regulations, 15% seats in undergraduate courses and 50% in postgraduate courses in state colleges are to be filled from the all-India quota.
According to the petitioner, the reach of private unaided self-financing institutions, some of which additionally enjoyed the status of a minority institution under Article 30(1) of the Constitution, suffered on account of being unable to take the option of centralised counselling and thereby admit students from an all-India pool.
The petition claimed that the move would result in filling seats only through state counselling instead of central counselling, in violation of their fundamental rights under Articles 14 (equality), 19(1)(g) (occupation), and 21 (life) of the Constitution.
The college, which gives Muslim community a significant representation, further contended that every private self-financing institution must have the right to choose its intake from an all-India pool of applications as such institutions functioned from funds generated from fees alone, and they do not rely on state funding in any manner whatsoever.