HC imposes cost of Rs 20,000 on AIIMS

HC imposes cost of Rs 20,000 on AIIMS

Justice Anil Kumar said the premier medical institute cannot deny a candidate of reserved category from taking the benefit of counselling under both categories concurrently.

"The merit cannot be permitted to become demerit as otherwise this will frustrate the very purpose and object of reservation policy," the court said.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by an OBC candidate Manish Patnecha who was denied an opportunity to sit for counselling against OBC quota after he had opted for a seat against the general category.

During the second counselling, he sought to appear against OBC quota so that he could get admission in a subject of his choice but the AIIMS debarred him, saying that it would block two seats.

Aggrieved by the denial, he approached the High Court saying a higher ranked candidate belonging to reserved category should not suffer a deprivation in the choices of either a seat or an institution of his choice vis-a-vis a lesser merited candidate of the same social class by operation of reservation principle.

The court, after perusing the Bulletin of Information, said that the practice of the AIIMS was in contrary to the procedure of allocating seats prescribed in the prospectus.

"The method and procedure for allocation of seats as detailed in the prospectus does not stipulate that a candidate who opts for a general seat in the first counselling provisionally is not to be allowed to opt for a reserved category seat in the second counselling," the court said.

The AIIMS contended that the practice of not permitting reserved category meritorious candidates, who participated in the counselling for the general category and allotted seat therein, was continuous ever since the counselling was started.

However, the court rejecting contention of the AIIMS said, "A practice is in vogue ever since the process of counselling was started, will not be a ground to act contrary to procedure for allocation of seat as detailed in the prospectus."

"As a reserved candidate on the basis of his merit in the general category, the petitioner was entitled for a seat, however, his option for a seat in general category could not be worked out to his disadvantage so as to be placed on a more disadvantageous position than the other less meritorious reserved category candidates," it said.

The court, however, declined to direct the institute for re-counselling saying, "In the circumstances, the AIIMS cannot be directed to have second counselling again and allot the seat of petitioner's choice and cancel the allocation of the seat to another candidate."