During this year’s counselling, authorities offered general category seats vacated by candidates of reserved category to only those of the same group, says petitioner

The Supreme Court has restrained the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) from filling vacant first-year MBBS seats in the general category in New Delhi and six other places with candidates of other categories.

A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri issued the interim order on a writ petition filed by Samta Andolan Samiti and one of the affected students Garvit Agrwal. “Vacancies which are available in the general category shall not be filled from other categories for two weeks. Counter-affidavit, if any, may be filed within a week. List [the case] on September 6.”

The petitioner said the AIIMS issued a prospectus for admission to the MBBS course in New Delhi, and in Bhopal, Patna, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Raipur and Bhubaneswar, where the institute started operations this year. The intake for each new institute was 100 students. It put the reservation at 7.5 per cent for the Scheduled Tribes, 15 per cent for the Scheduled Castes, 27 per cent for the Other Backward Classes and 3 per cent for orthopaedic physically handicapped.

So far, under the rules of admission, if a candidate belonging to the SC, the ST or the OBC who joined the course through open competition “opts for a better institution of his/her choice for which he or she would be eligible as per the rules, the seat vacated by him or her be filled by those belonging to the unreserved category on merit.”

But during this year’s counselling, authorities offered the general category seats vacated by the meritorious candidates of the reserved category to only those of the reserved category. This, the petitioner said, would result in excessive reservation and reverse discrimination.

“The action and approach of the respondents do not give the candidate the freedom to choose either the unreserved category or the reserved category. The respondents have intentionally prescribed such a condition, with an ulterior motive of providing reservation above the ceiling of 50 per cent. This is in violation of Section 3 of the Central Educational Institutions [Reservation in Admissions] Act, 2006…,” the petitioner said.

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