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SC order on institutional reservation in AMU and BHU on Wednesday

IANS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Wednesday its order on petitions by Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and other seeking the restoration of 50 per cent institutional preference quota in post graduate medical courses.

Both BHU and AMU have moved the top court challenging Allahabad High Court's May 29 order setting aside 50 per cent admissions under the quota and asking them to go by the merit of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Post Graduate (NEET-PG 2017) examinations.

Reserving its order after hearing both varsities and the Medical Council of India which supported their position, the vacation bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Deepak Gupta said that it would be pronounced Wednesday.

In the course of the hearing, the bench inquired as to how many petitioners were there before the High Court and expressed surprise to know there was only one. "Oh, we thought there were many petitioners," it said.

Appearing for BHU, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh said that the entire issue cannot be revisited by re-opening 50 per cent seats (under institutional preference quota) for students selected through the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.

He also asked what would happen to other central institutions like AIIMS and Chandigarh-based Post Graduate Institute, set up under a statute, if these 50 per cent seats under the institutional preference were to go.

The ASG also referred to top court's earlier judgment in support of his contention.

Seeking the stay of the High court order, senior counsel Salman Khurshid said that of the 195 seats, admissions have already been made for 149 seats and at this stage, everything could not be reversed. 

Pointing out that BHU was created under a statute and does not fall within the preview of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 or the Dentists Act, 1948, Maninder Singh, in his written submission, told the bench that the MCI's Postgraduate Medical Education Regulation, 2000 was not applicable to the degrees/diplomas awarded by the BHU.

Referring to the provisions governing admissions to post graduate medical courses in central universities, the court was told that out of total 167 seats in BHU, 84 have been filled under the institutional quota – by the students who have secured MBBS/BDS degrees from BHU itself, while the remaining 83 seats have been filled up on the basis of NEET-PG 2017.