The Madras High Court upheld an eligibility criteria for admissions in JIPMER which made residence certificate from the territorial government compulsory for accessing seats under the Puducherry-Scheduled Castes quota.
The clause was challenged by a few SC candidates who wanted the court to declare the stipulation of compulsorily having residence certificates, which is issued by the government to those who have resided in the Union Territory continuously for five years preceding the date of admissions, null and void.
Of the total 141 seats in the institution for the MBBS course, 40 have been earmarked for students hailing from Puducherry. The 40 seats include six specially allocated for SC students from Puducherry.
However, Santosh Tamilarasan and a few others approached the court stating that their grandparents were indeed residents of Puducherry when the President of India issued the notification relating to the Scheduled Castes of local origin in 1964. But the stipulation of JIPMER, which wants the candidate to be a resident of the UT in the five years immediately preceding admissions, robbed them of their rights under the quota.
Appearing for JIPMER, standing counsel M T Arunan argued that the petitioners had misconstrued the SC-Puducherry category as a separate reservation, which it was not.
Accepting this, Justice KK Sasidharan said the seats allotted to SC-Puducherry category was only a form of concession and not a constitutional quota. The candidates, however, were free to apply for other seats in the SC quota for which such a residence certificate was not a necessity.