Telangana High Court on Monday dismissed a batch of writ petitions challenging the Telangana government’s decision to reserve 100% seats in MBBS/BDS courses for ‘locals’ (domicile candidates) in ‘competent authority quota’ in medical colleges established in the State after June 2, 2014.
A Bench of Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice N.V. Shravan Kumar, pronouncing the verdict after hearing the pleas filed by students from different parts of Andhra Pradesh, said the decision of the Supreme Court in Pradeep Jain case would not apply to the State of Telangana. The Bench noted that the decisions of the apex court in the matters of Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao and Satyajit Kumar “are authorities for the proposition that 100% reservation in the matter of employment is violative of the constitutional guarantee contained in Article 16 of the Constitution of India”.
The Bench, however, made it clear that the present batch of pleas questioning reservation in MBBS/BDS seats “is not a case of 100% reservation as only 85% of competent authority quota seats in respect of educational institutions which have been set up after formation of the State, i.e., June 2, 2014 had been reserved for the candidates of State of Telangana”. The Bench said reservation to the extent of 100% for local candidates in Telangana by amending Telangana Medical & Dental Colleges Admission (Admission into MBBS & BDS Courses) Rules, 2017 as contended by the petitioners “had not been provided”.
The Bench recalled the submission of Advocate General B.S. Prasad that the students of all other States, including Andhra Pradesh, can secure admissions in the 15% of the competent authority quota seats. It instructed the State government, in the backdrop of the AG’s above submission, that the said provision should be made in the seat matrix notified by Kaloji Narayan Rao University of Health Sciences.
The petitioners appeared for the NEET UG 2023 on May 7. While the results were declared on June 13, the Telangana government amended the Medical Colleges Admission Rules-2017 providing 100% reservation to candidates hailing from Telangana in the 85% of competent authority quota.
Challenging the amendment of the Rules through G.O. 72, the petitioners knocked at the doors of the HC. Some of them filed a writ petition in Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The apex court, however, dismissed the plea.
Referring to the contentions of the petitioners that G.O. 72 violated Section 95 of the AP Reorganisation Act, the Bench observed that the successor States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh should “maintain existing admission quotas’’ for a period of 10 years. The Bench said that Section 95 cannot be applied to seats in educational institutions that were constituted after June 2, 2014.
The petitioners who are admittedly the local candidates of Andhra Pradesh cannot have any legitimate expectation under Section 95 of the Reorganisation Act to claim a right in respect of seats which came into existence in 34 educational institutions set up in Telangana after the formation of the State, the Bench noted.
Harish welcomes verdict
Minister for Health and Finance T.Harish Rao welcomed the High Court judgment supporting the State government decision to reserve 100% seats in the competitive authority quota in medical colleges established in Telangana after June 2, 2014.
In a statement on Monday, he said reserving 100% seats in the competitive authority quota would ensure local students get admission for 85% of the total seats in the medical colleges that had come up after June 2, 2014. It would ensure 520 additional seats purely for Telangana students.
On the instructions of Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao, the government had already reserved 85% B-Category seats for local (Telangana) students ensuring them 1,300 MBBS seats and both the decisions would help domicile candidates get 1,820 MBBS seats, which the Minister said was equivalent to setting up 20 new medical colleges.