Supreme Court issues notice on plea seeking time for fresh registration in NRI quota before NEET mop-up round
New Delhi: Granting permission to file a Special Leave Petition by NRI quota students seeking time for fresh registration before mop-up round of NEET counselling, the Supreme Court recently issued notice in the matter.In fact, the top court bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant has also asked the State of Kerala to inform the court about the unfilled vacant seats...
New Delhi: Granting permission to file a Special Leave Petition by NRI quota students seeking time for fresh registration before mop-up round of NEET counselling, the Supreme Court recently issued notice in the matter.
In fact, the top court bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant has also asked the State of Kerala to inform the court about the unfilled vacant seats after the mop-up round.
"The respondent-State shall place before this Court the up-to-date position in regard to the seats if any that remain unfilled after the mop up round of counselling," noted the bench as it listed the matter for further hearing on April 22.
The plea before the top court bench has been filed by the NRI students challenging the Kerala High Court order which denied granting time for fresh registration in the NRI quota.
In the plea before the Kerala High Court, Kerala Private Medical College Management Association had sought directions upon the concerned authorities to grant more time for fresh registration in the NRI quota to the eligible students before commencement of the Mop-up Counselling.
It was submitted by the petitioner association that the rank list for eligible candidates in the NRI quota consisting of 618 rank holders got exhausted after two rounds of counselling. However, despite the exhaustion of the rank list, 57 seats in the NRI quota were lying vacant in the colleges under the association as on the date of filing the writ petition. It was contended that, since the money collected from the NRI students are utilized for benefiting students from economically weaker sections of the society, the respondents ought to have extended the period to fill up the vacant NRI quota seats.
The petitioner association further contended that numerous eligible candidates were unable to exercise their option due to the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
However, after taking note of all the submissions, the HC bench comprising of Chief Justice S Manikumar had dismissed the plea and noted, "Since it has been pointed out that the last date for admission for MBBS course is today 08.04.2022, as per the directions issued by the National Medical Commission, the appellants cannot be given liberty to grant time for fresh registration in NRI quota. We find that sufficient time was granted to the NRI quota candidates to exercise their option. Ext. P2 list was published as early as on 24.12.2021. Therefore, the same can only mean that no eligible NRI candidate is available to exercise option. We are not inclined to grant any relief to the appellants."
Challenging the order of the High Court the NRI students filed the special leave petition before the Apex Court and prayed for time to register fresh in the NRI quota before the Mop-up Counselling could begin.
Advocate Dave further relied on the Supreme Court judgement in the case of PA Inamdar & Ors v State of Maharashtra and pointed out that the money collected from the NRI quota seats are utilized to help students belonging to economically weaker sections of the society.
Responding to this, the top court bench comprising of Justice Chandrachud was quoted saying by Live Law, "Last date for the admission was April 8, how do we know? Are there any seats left in the mop up round?"
When the counsel for the petitioners pointed out that 6 seats of mop up were left, the top court bench also comprising of Justice Kant noted, "46 seats in NRI quota are unfilled and as per the prospectus the direction was to convert them."
At this outset, the counsel for the petitioners referred to the prospectus and reminded that NRI seats cannot be converted. Referring to clause 5.5.4 of the prospectus, he further argued that it was only applicable in case of special reservation quota and NRI quota will not come within special reservation.
"How can we cancel their admission? The students are not before us. Problem is that NRIs also come under special reservation. How do we now unseat students?" the bench asked in response.
Following this, the Senior counsel appearing for the petitioners requested the bench to issue notice in the matter and said, " Just look at the damage, where do we find money? NRI is not part of mandatory reservation seats. This is not a reservation but following Inamdar. Just see the rationale. There are many stray vacancies. Why should a premium be put?"
Finally the bench agreed to this request and issued notice in the matter.
"Issue notice. Keep it next Friday. Respondent State shall list before this court upto date position in regard to the seats if any which remain unfilled after the mop up round," read the order of the top court.
The bench also clarified that it was not granting any stay for the HC judgement and listed the matter for further hearing on April 22, 2022.
To read the HC order, click on the link below.
To read the top court order, click on the link below.
Barsha completed her Master's in English from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.