NEET 2020 candidate demands higher option seat based on Merit, SC dismisses plea
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to entertain the challenge against the Kerala High Court verdict wherein the court had rejected the prayer made by an aspirant seeking MBBS admission to a "higher option seat" in terms of NEET 2020 Rank in the All India Quota Seat Allotment and state counseling conducted by CEE Kerala.
The bench of Honourable Justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta upheld the decision of the Kerala High Court and observed that since the petitioner had already taken admission in terms of the All India Quota (AIQ) after the second round of counseling, the same could not be allowed.
In her petition, the aspirant stated that the High Court erroneously dismissed her Petition. She alleged that she was wrongfully denied MBBS admission in such Government medical colleges which were in the options list of the Petitioner in both, the AIQ Counselling and the KEAM counseling of State of Kerala, while not considering the merit secured by her in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test 2020 conducted this year.
The Petitioner had secured AIR 11837 and Kerala State Medical Rank No 1695. She belongs to the Muslim community which is in the category of OBC. In the first round of counselling against 15% seats in the All India Quota, the aspirant was allotted to a college in Andaman and on the basis of allotment in the State Quota, she was allotted to Amala Medical College, Trissur and she has joined there. However, in the second round of counseling for AIQ seats, she was allotted a seat in Karwar Institute of Medical Sciences, Karwar, Karnataka, and she joined there.
The petitioner had pointed out that the Commissioner for Entrance Examination (CEE Kerala) released the 2nd allotment list under the KEAM after receipt of the surrendered seats to the State and list 24 candidates ranked below the petitioner, starting from rank no.1701 had been allotted seats in Government Medical Colleges in Kerala. She said that those candidates were allotted to colleges to which she had submitted options and therefore denial of allotment to the petitioner in any of the seats in preference to the candidates ranked below her is illegal. The petitioner, therefore, sought a direction from the high court to the counseling authority to allot the next seat falling vacant in any of the Government Medical Colleges.
According to the candidate, Karwar Institute of Medical Sciences, Karwar, Karnataka was her 65th choice under the All India quota.
Further, it was averred that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many States within the territory of India did not conduct the first rounds of the respective State counselling, because of which numerous candidates did not participate in the second round of AIQ counselling. Consequently, around 2000 seats in the AIQ remained vacant.
She submitted in her petition that the injustice done to her could have been avoided in case the seats reverted to the State from the All India quota were offered to candidates like petitioner based on their higher option and only the remaining seats should have been reverted to the State.
In response, the counsel appearing for the government submitted that as per the said matrix, if a candidate has joined under the All India quota in the 2nd round he/she would be ineligible for further counselling.
Noting the aforesaid submission, the high court dismissed the petition of the aspirant and observed:
"It is seen that the respondents have conducted the counselling in accordance with the Graduate Medical Education Regulations 2019 as well as in tune with the directions and decisions of the apex court. As per the provisions contained in Appendix F further counselling is not permissible once the petitioner has been admitted in the 2nd round of counselling under the All India quota. Therefore, though it is seen that several of the candidates ranked juniors to the petitioner have got admission in the state quota, a further opportunity to participate in another round of allotment is not permissible for the petitioner, in the light of the provisions in the Regulations as well as the judgment of the apex court."
Aggrieved with the HC order, the candidate moved the apex court seeking relief.
During the hearing today, citing one example, the petitioner submitted that admission was granted to one of the candidates because he had a gold medal in archery, even though his rank was lower than that of the petitioner.
However, the supreme court refused to entertain her petition keeping in view of the high court verdict.
According to the Livelaw report, the bench observed that since the petitioner had already taken admission in terms of the All India Quota after the second round of counselling, the same could not be allowed.
"We have gone through the well-reasoned judgment of the HC. The petitioner after the second round of counselling has been admitted in the AIQ. Only two rounds of counselling is permitted."
After the bench expressed no inclination to entertain the petition, the counsel for the petitioner sought permission to withdraw it. Accordingly, the bench granted permission to withdraw the petition and the same was dismissed as withdrawn, reports LiveLaw.
Justice Banerjee asked the petitioner to argue these issues before HC. We cannot direct the High Court, it is also a Constitutional Court. We can only request it, said the judge.
The matter has been directed to be listed on Jan 21. "Pending in the high court, so not inclined to interfere. The high court May consider an earlier hearing," the bench said.