Earmarking of six seats for SC candidates in Puducherry not reservation but only concession: HC

The Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer)’s stipulation that Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates in Puducherry should obtain residence certificate from the territorial government as an eligibility condition for admission to MBBS under the Puducherry residents’ quota has been upheld by the Madras High Court.

A few SC origin candidates filed petitions challenging the clause in the prospectus, which required that a person claiming admission to JIPMER, a Central government institution, under the quota earmarked for Puducherry SC candidates, should have mandatorily resided continuously in the Union Territory for five years.

Out of the total 141 MBBS seats, 40 seats are for the residents of Puducherry. Of this number, six seats are for SC candidates of Puducherry origin. The grandparents of the petitioners, Santhosh Tamilarasan E and others, were residents of the Union Territory as on March 5, 1964, the date on which the President issued the notification relating to Puducherry. The petitioners are not residing at Puducherry at present.

In view of the condition, they would not be considered for admission to the seats reserved for the residents of the Union Territory. Therefore, they wanted the clause to be quashed and a direction to consider them for admission. The Standing Counsel for JIPMER, M.T.Arunan, said the seats earmarked for the Puducherry residents could not be treated as reservation. It was only a channel of admission. It was only to give an opportunity to local SC candidates six seats were earmarked for them.

Mr.Justice Sasidharan said the petitioners proceeded on a wrong notion that reservation of seats by JIPMER for the local SC candidates was in the nature of a constitutional reservation. The institution had already reserved 15 per cent seats for SC candidates. This reservation was not confined to SC candidates of Puducherry. To get admission against this quota, there was no need to fulfil the residential requirement. The earmarking of six seats was not at all a reservation, but only a concession for local SCs.

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