Recognize Service of Defence Personnel: Madras HC Directs Govt to Allot 1 per cent MBBS Seats
Madurai: A division bench of Madras High Court recently made it clear that recognizing the selfless service of the defence personnel to the nation, the State Government is expected to reserve at least 1 % medical seats for their wards from the next academic year.
Further, the bench comprising of Justice N Kirubakaran (since retired after signing the order) and Justice B Pugalendhi has given instruction to the Centre for revisiting the priority list for MBBS admission of the wards of the armed personnel, adds TOI. The bench has thus clarified that all the categories must be given equal importance so the available seats must be distributed in a uniform manner.
Expressing its shock to note that the State Government omitted the special reservation for the wards of the serving defence personnel in medical admission, the bench observed, "Scorching sun and freezing cold do not deter our border forces from safeguarding our nation. Our forces spend sleepless nights in the borders to make us sleep safely and securely inside our homes."
Back in 1979, the Government had passed a GO where it had allotted six seats (two each) to the wards of ex-servicemen, deceased defence personnel and serving defence personnel.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the State Government had passed a GO in 2018, which had omitted wards of serving defence personnel from the eligibility quota.
Aggrieved by the same, an MBBS aspirant, a son of a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian army had moved the High Court seeking direction to quash the state GO, citing a communication passed by the Ministry of Defence on November 30, 2017, reservation for wards of armed forces personnel for admission was prioritised under eight categories.
Back then, the High Court bench had set aside the GO passed by the Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Department and had directed the state to include the wards of serving defence personnel under the reservation category for admission to UG Medical (MBBS/BDS) courses.
However, the order of the single judge bench was challenged by the State and the matter was being heard by a division bench of the court.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, during the hearing of the case, the High Court division bench noted that although the Defence Ministry notification had mentioned about the wards of serving personnel in the eighth category, the State Government GO in 2018 deleted three categories including the wards of serving personnel from the list. In fact, the judges noted that the government didn't give any justification for the same.
Thus, the bench opined that the 1979 GO is capable of doing justice to all sections of defence personnel and disposed of the appeal by the State government.
Upholding the order of the single judge bench, the division bench of the High Court granted relief to the ward of serving defence personnel and quashed the portion of the GO which had earlier denied special reservation benefits to the wards of the serving defence personnel.
With this, the Court made it clear that it expects the Government to recognize the selfless service of the serving defence personnel and allocate at least 1% medical seats for their wards.