EWS Reservation: Supreme Court Rejects Pleas To Modify Directions On PG Medical Courses Admission in Maharashtra

The Supreme Court on Monday did not deem necessary to alter its June 4 order by which students were restrained from changing their original options in the fresh round of counselling for the PG Medical seats in Maharashtra. However, the vacation bench headed by Justice Indira Bannerjee allowed for the seats lying unfilled by reason of the EWS quota being scrapped to be allotted in accordance with merit.

On May 30, the SC had ordered that 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections cannot be applied for current year admission to Post Graduate Medical seats in Maharashtra, as the admission process had started before the insertion of Article 16(6) in the Constitution by way of 103rd amendment, which provided for EWS quota.

The Court said that EWS Quota cannot be applied for 2019-20 as the Medical Council of India had not increased the seats. The Court had ordered reshuffling of all seats after reverting EWS seats to general category.

After that, few students approached the Court stating that a mere reshuffling of seats without a fresh round of counselling will cause prejudice to the students. Acting on this application, the Court on June 4 directed the Common Entrance Test Cell to hold a fresh counselling, after giving wide publicity. Physical counselling, instead of online counselling, was directed to be held, as per the suggestion of the Medical Council of India.

The Court also directed that students will not be permitted to change the options/preferences which were originally given at the time of applying in March. This restriction was sought to be modified by the application filed by Sagar Damodar Sarda and sixteen others. Their application filed through Advocate Krishna Kumar Singh states that students were permitted to submit online options/preferences only from March 30 to April 2, after the EWS quota was implemented on March 7. The options of the students were restricted by the EWS quota, and hence the submission of online preferences in that backdrop cannot be termed as a “valid exercise”, states the application. It was contended that since the SC has now ordered the reversion of EWS seats to general category, the students should be given a chance to change options in the fresh round of counselling.