States can frame medical courses eligibility rules: SC

States can frame medical courses eligibility rules: SC

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The Supreme Court has held that a state government in its medical colleges is entitled to lay down conditions, including domicile, for the candidates to obtain admission to MBBS and BDS courses.

“It is permissible to lay down the essential educational requirements, residential or domicile in a particular state in respect of basic courses of MBBS/BDS/Ayurvedic,” a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Abdul Nazeer said.

The top court said the eligibility criteria for basic MBBS course may be different and can be based on domicile but not for the postgraduate and post-doctoral courses.

After going through various previous decisions of the apex court, the bench said the rules are based on an intelligible differentia and cannot be said to be discriminatory and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The court explained the legal position with regard to state government's power to frame rules for admission to government seats in medical colleges.

“Concession given to the residents of the state in the matter of admission is obviously calculated to serve their interest as presumably some of them may after passing out of the college, settle down as doctors and serve the needs of the locality,” the bench said.

It dismissed a batch of writ petitions filed by Rajdeep Ghosh and others, questioning the constitutional validity of the Assam government's 2017 rules, which, among others, required that a candidate must have studied in all the classes from Class VII to XII in the state of Assam. The other requirements included a candidate must be a permanent resident and father or mother must be residing in Assam continuously for 20 years.

The petitioners claimed for obtaining better education or coaching facility, students usually go out and the state could not have deprived them of staking their claims against the state quota seats.

The Union government supported the eligibility criteria, saying the students who have obtained education outside the state are not likely to stay in Assam.

The court agreed to a contention by the state government that it wanted such candidates who as doctors would take care of its inhabitants in the far-flung areas of northeast.