AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court today struck down a state government rule debarring students of deemed universities from applying for admission to medical post-graduation courses under the provision of 50 per cent state quota.
The court verdict allows deemed university students to apply for admission in medical courses under the seats reserved for pupils from Gujarat.
A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi quashed rule 4(2) of the Gujarat Professional Post-Graduate Medical Educational Courses (Regulation of Admission) Rules, 2018, terming it "illegal and arbitrary".
The regulation 4(2) states candidates shall be eligible for applying for admission to professional medical colleges only when they have completed the recognised MBBS or BDS course from a university established under any law of the government of Gujarat.
The HC order came after some students, who were denied permission to apply for admission in state medical colleges under the 50 per cent quota provided to students from Gujarat as per the law, moved a set of petitions before the court, challenging the constitutional validity of the regulation.
The petitioners last year appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and said they had applied for admission to PG medical course in Gujarat universities under the 50 per cent state quota.
NEET is the national-level entrance exam for admission to medical and dental colleges across the country.
In their petitions, they said despite fulfilling other criteria for 50 per cent state quota, they were denied admission on ground they had studied in a Gujarat-based deemed university, established under the UGC Act, which was not covered under the state quota rules.
They said a deemed university, established under the UGC Act, is "arbitrarily and unreasonably excluded from the purview of the state quota".
Such an exclusion suffers from "vice of arbitrariness as envisaged under Article 14 of the Constitution (which deals with equality before law)," the petitioners argued.
The petitioners said last year, students from both the state and deemed universities were allowed to apply for admission under the state quota.
The students maintained they were under the impression that they will be qualified to apply under the state quota this year as well.