1. In this batch of eleven Writ Petitions a common question is involved namely, the validity of Rule 6 (a) (i) and (ii) and Rule 17 (viii) of the Rules for the Selection Candidates for admission to the Integrated M. B. B. S. Colleges in Telangana area, appended to G. O. Ms. 1135 Health dated 16-6-1966.
2. Sri Y. Sivarama Sastry, addressed the main argument in W. P. No. 2523 of 67 and the Advocate appearing for the Petitioner in the other Writ Petitions adopted in the other Writ Petitions adopted his arguments. It is, therefore, sufficient to deal with the submissions made by Sri Sivarama Sastry in Writ Petition No. 2523 of 67.
3. The petitioner in this Writ Petition passed his Higher Secondary (Multipurpose) Certificate Examination held in the month of March, 1967, in the First Class, securing 233.5 marks in the optional subjects, thus getting an average of 74.5% . He sought admission to the Osmania Medical College at Hyderabad. His father is a Chartered Accountant, residing at Secunderabad since 1944 and the petitioner was born and bred up at Secunderabad. He sought admission in Region I of the Telangana area comprising the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and he was selected from the General pool from that Region. He, however received a Memorandum dated 6-10-1967 directing him to report to the Principal, Medical College, Guntur. By that Memorandum 16 candidates including the petitioner who were selected from Region 1 under various categories for admission to be Integrated M. B. B. S., Course for the year 1967-68 were informed that they have been allotted to Andhra Area for their admission in one of the Medical Colleges in that area. The said candidates were instructed to report to the Principal, Guntur Medical College, Guntur, who is the authority-in-charge of Admissions in Andhra Area, on or before 13-10-1967 failing which their provisional admission would be cancelled . This Memorandum was apparently issued in pursuance of the G. O. Ms. 1135 Health dated 16-6-1966. Under that G. O. the Government directed that the rules specified in the Annexure to the order shall be followed in respect of admission of Students to the Integrated M. B. B. S., Course in the Medical Colleges in the Telangana area from the academic year 1966-67. The rules for the selection of candidates annexed to the G. O. state that the number of seats available for admission of candidates to the M. B. B. S., Course in the two Government Medical Colleges in the Telangana area shall be 150 for Osmania Medical College and 120 for Gandhi Medical College. There are certain rules for reservation of seats for candidates from outside the State of Andhra Pradesh, for those who have distinguished in Sports etc., for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and for the women candidates. After providing for such reservation Rule 6 of the Rules which relates to the Regional Distribution of seats states as follows: -
'REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF SEATS:
6 (a) For the purpose of Selection, the seats available for admission in the Telangana area of the State after deducting the reservation specified in Rule (2) (a), shall be allotted to the candidates belonging to that area only:-
(i) Provided that the sons and daughters of Offices of Government belonging to the Andhra Region and working in the twin cities may be admitted to the M. B. B. S., Course.
(ii) Provided that the sons and daughters of non-officials who have moved into Hyderabad city on or after 1-11-1956, and are bona fide permanent residents thereof may be admitted to the M. B. B. S., course. Such admissions should not in any case exceed 5% of the total seats available for Region J.
(iii) Provided further that the sons and daughters of non-officials seeking admission under this rule should have had their schooling at the Secondary stage and P. U. C. or its equivalent or H. S. C. (Multipurpose) examinations in the Telangana region of the Andhra Pradesh State.
Note (i): - The children of the Andhra officials and non-officials referred to in sub-clauses (i) and (ii) above should get selection on merit from their respective region in the Andhra area.
Note (ii): - All such candidates of Telangana area from Region I who, but for these outside admissions falling under sub-clauses (i) and (ii) above would have secured admissions in the Colleges concerned shall, without any further procedure of selection be entitled to secure admission in the corresponding colleges in the Andhra region and preferably in the districts adjacent to Telangana.
(b) The Telangana area shall be divided into two regions as indicated below and the seats available for the area, after deducting the reservations specified in Rule 2 (a), shall be distributed among the two region in a manner that 70% of the seats shall be filled from the candidates from Region II, and 30% from Region I.
Region I: Comprising the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (which includes also Secunderabad).
Region II: Comprising Telangana area excluding the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (which includes also Secunderabad).
(c) If in any region in the Telangana area, there is deficiency in the number of candidates admitted against the reserved quota for that region in favour of a particular category the candidate from the General Category in that region shall be considered for admission.'
4. The other rule relevant for the purpose of this Writ petition is Rule 17 (viii), Rule 17 (viii) is headed `PROCEDURE FOR SELECTION'. It is in the following terms.
'Applications from children of Government servants from Andhra area working the capital and applications from children of non-officials who have moved from Andhra area to Hyderabad city on or after 1-11-1956 and are bona fide permanent residents thereof, will be included in the list of candidates of the respect regions in the Andhra area in the categories to which they belong. They will be considered for selection along with other candidates of the respective region in the Andhra area in the categories to which they belong. They will be considered for selection along with other candidates of the respect region in the Andhra area, in the respective categories, on the basis of their marks. After their selection in Andhra area, they shall be admitted in one of the Medical Colleges in Hyderabad City.
Only Telangana male candidates other than children of officials of Telangana working at Hyderabad city of Region I, occupying the last places in the respective categories, equal to the number of children of Government servants and non-officials the Medical Colleges in Andhra area, preferably in the colleges adjacent to the Districts to which they belong.'
5. It is seen that the general scheme of Rule 6 is that the seats available for admission in Telangana area, after deducting the reservations specified in Rule 2 (a) that is, for the candidates selected by the Government of India, from outside the State of Andhra Pradesh shall be allotted to the candidates belonging to that area only, but exception is made by the first two provisos contained in Rule 6 (a) (i) and 6 (ii) in the case of sons and daughters of non-officials who have moved into Hyderabad City on or after 1-11-1956 and are bona fide permanent residents thereof. These have to apply for selection in the Andhra area to which they belong along with the other candidates of the respective regions in the Andhra area. After their selection in the Andhra area, they shall be admitted in one of the Medical Colleges in Hyderabad city. In order to give place to such candidates, Telangana male candidates, other than children of officials of Telangana working at Hyderabad city of Region I, occupying the last places in the respective categories referred to in the two provisos to Rule 6 will be allotted to the Medical Colleges in the Andhra area, preferably in the Colleges adjacent to the Districts to which they belong. It is in pursuance of this scheme contained in Rules 6 and 17 (viii) that the petitioner and fifteen others were directed to report themselves to the Principal, Guntur Medical College, Guntur. The petitioner challenges Rule 6 (a) (i) and 6 a (ii) as discriminatory and invalid. Though, reference is made in the affidavit in support of the Writ Petition to Rule 6 (a) (i) and 6 a (ii) as being discriminatory and void, the main attack is on Rule 6 (a) (i), The affidavit itself states that under Rule 6 (a) (ii) there is at least a limitation of 5% of the total seats available for Region I, whereas under Rule 6 (a) (I) there is no such limitation whatsoever. The said proviso i.e., Rule 6 (a) (i) according to the Petitioner confers unbridled and arbitrary discretion which is likely to be misused by the authorities concerned and that there was no rationale behind the said provisions seeking to provide for the sons and daughters of Government Servants belonging to the Andhra region and working the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Those applicants would be enable to get admission in Region I without going through the process of contest and taking their own chance in regard to the percentage of marks that they have got to get. It is also stated in the affidavit that even in the Telangana area a discrimination is sought to be made between Region I and Region II and provision is sought to be made for candidates only from Region I instead of Region II.
6. In our view the contention that rule 6 (a) (ii) is invalid is not justified. Under Rule 6 (a) (ii) a provision is made for the sons and daughters of non-officials who have moved into Hyderabad City on or after 1-11-1956 and are bona fide permanent residents thereof for admission to the M. B. B. S., Course in the Telangana area, though the candidates do not belong to that area. such admissions, according to Rule 6 (a) (ii) should not exceed 5% of the total seats available. This proviso enabling the persons of the category mentioned therein to get admissions in respect of a small percentage namely 5% was apparently intended to provide for the persons who have lived for a considerable time in the Hyderabad City ever since the formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh, but who have not still qualified to get a nativity certificate which requires residence for a period of fifteen years have not elapsed still, as they have been in the twin cities for nearly eleven years, some provision should be made for them to be admitted into colleges in Telangana area. Hence, we are of opinion that there is a rational basis for providing for a small percentage of seats for the class of candidates refereed to in Rule 6 (a) (ii) and there is no substance in the contention that the proviso contained in Rule 6 (a) (ii) is invalid.
7. As stated earlier the real attack is on Rule 6 (a) (i). It is to be noticed that under this sub-clause there is no limitation at all on the number of candidates belonging to that category being admitted in the Telangana area. As long as the candidates are the son and daughters of officers belonging to Andhra region and working in the twin cities and they are selected in the Andhra area, all of them shall be admitted in one of the Medical Colleges in Hyderabad City. The result of such admission is to displace an equal number of Telangana male candidates from the Colleges in Telangana area who will be allotted to the Medical Colleges in Andhra area. The G. O. does not disclose any basis for enabling the sons and daughters of officers of the Government belonging to the Andhra Region who have been selected for the colleges in the Andhra area to obtain admission in the Medical Colleges in the twin cities without any limitation whatsoever displacing by such admission the candidates who have been selected for admission into those colleges. The counter-affidavit filed by the Director of Medical and Health Services also does not disclose any basis for such rule. Beyond merely asserting in paragraph 4 that the rule is neither discriminatory nor unreasonable, no facts and circumstances are mentioned in the counter-affidavit to justify Rule 6 (a) (i) making an exception in the case of sons and daughters of Government Officers belonging to the Andhra Region and working in the twin cities without any limitation whatsoever. Whereas a limit is imposed in case of non-officials under Rule 6 (a) (ii) by stating that the admission under that sub-clause should not exceed 5% of the total seats available for Region I, no such limitation is imposed in case of persons under Rule 6 (a) (i). In the absence of the G. O. and the counter-affidavit disclosing any justifiable basis for such discrimination in favour of the children of Government Officers falling under Rule 6 (a) (i) the Government Pleader had practically to concede that the rule cannot be justified. We are also unable to find any justifiable basis for the discrimination. It is to be suggested that the reason is that the children of the Government officers should be enabled as far as possible to study in the cities where their parents are working, it is to be observed that the Government officers may at any moment be transferred from the twin cities conceivably soon after the admission of the candidate. The rule cannot, therefore, be justified on that basis. If it is economic considerations that have led to the introduction of this rule, the same consideration would equally apply to the candidates referred to in Rule 6 (a) (i) and who are compelled to read in a place different from that to which they belonged. The same consideration will equally apply to the non-officials referred to in Rule 6 (a) (ii) and there is no reason why the admissions in respect of children of non-officials referred to in Rule 6 (a) (ii) should be limited to 5% whereas no limitation should be imposed on the no limitation should be imposed on the admission of candidates referred to in rule 6 (a) (i).
8. It may again be pointed out that the rule is not in favour of children of Government servants as a class but only of a selected few in that class namely children of officers of that class unless of course officers include all Government servants. There are a very large number of Government servants who are not liable to be transferred such as those who are serving in the Secretariat or Directorates - who at any rate like the non-officials may be continuously residing in Region I from 1-11-1956 and who satisfy the qualifications in Rule 6 (a) (ii). We could have understood a provision being made for children of that class and included in Rule 6 (a) (ii) on the basis that they are in the progress and almost nearing completion of getting the qualification for obtaining nativity of the Telangana region and in particular region I.
9. We are therefore, of the opinion that Rule 6 (a) (i) and Rule 17 (viii) in so far as the latter deals with the candidates referred to in Rule 6 (a) (i) and directs allotment of equal number of Telangana candidates to the Medical Colleges in Andhra area are discriminatory and invalid.
10. The learned Government Pleader argued that the sentence occurring in Rule 6 (a) (ii), namely 'such admissions should not in any case exceed 5% of the total seats available for Region I' should be so interpreted as to mean that admissions in each case coming under Rule 6 (a) (i) and 6 (ii) should not exceed 5% of the total seats. So read, he submitted, the admissions under Rule 6 (a) (i) may also be limited to 5% of the total seats available for Region I and if so limited the proviso contained in Rule 6 (a) (i) would not be unreasonable or discriminatory. We are unable to find any justification for construing the last sentence referred to above in Rule 6 (a) (ii) in the manner suggested by the learned Government Pleader. That sentence occurs in Rule 6 (a) (ii) only and refers only to proviso contained under Rule 6 (a) (i). That expression in any case, means in any event and it cannot by any stretch of imagination be construed as in each of the cases referred to in Rule 6 (a) (i) and Rule 6 (a) (ii). The very fact that more than 5% were selected for admission under Rule 6 (a) (i) shows that the Government never understood the limitation referred to Rule 6 (a) (ii) as being applicable to Rule 6 (a) (i). We have therefore, to proceed on the footing that Rule 6 (i) does not impose any limitation to the number of admission. In the absence of such limitation as stated already we have no option but to come to the conclusion that the said proviso is discriminatory and invalid.
11. Mr. Sivarama Sastry also contended that the applications by sons and daughters of the Government servants referred to in the rule 6 (a) (i) are only to the Colleges in Andhra area, and the rules in question which are for selection in the Colleges in the Andhra area to be admitted in the Colleges in Telangana area. It is no doubt, true that the rules relate to admission to Colleges in the Telangana area, but there is nothing to prevent the Government from making rules for the transfer of person admitted in Colleges in Andhra area to the Telangana area and in lieu thereof for allotting the candidates selected in Telangana area to Andhra area.
12. I Sukhadev v. Government of Andhra Pradesh. 1966-1 Andh WR 294, Justice Jaganmohan Reddy (as he then was) after considering Rule 6 (a) of the Rules as it then stood, stated that the rule appears to be somewhat unhappily drafted because it postulates a number of seats to be reserved for Telangana candidates who are selected to the M. B. B. S., Course to the institution in Hyderabad city without making evident how selection of the Andhra candidates in the institutions in Hyderabad city are to be made. It was ultimately held that the exchange of the Andhra students vis-a-vis the Telangana students is on the basis of selection in their respective areas and consequently if any seats have been kept vacant in the Andhra area without selecting the Andhra candidates that would not be in consonance with the spirit and intention of the rule.
13. Apparently the present rule has been re-drafted to bring it in line with the decision in that case. Though it may be pointed out, the rule still remains unhappily drafted, now as express provision is made as to the mode of selection of the candidates referred to in Rule 6 (a) (I) in Andhra area and the transfer of those to the Telangana area, and an equal number of the candidates being allotted to Andhra area, we do not find any substance in the above contention urged by Sri Sivarama Sastry.
14. Sri Sivarama Sastry also contended that the impugned rule 17 (viii) is discriminatory inasmuch as only Telangana male candidates are to be allotted to replace the sons and daughters of the Government officers transferred under Rule 6 (a) (i) whereas female candidates are left untouched. The result of Rule 17 (viii) is that the candidates are forced to live away from their parents in cities which are new to them. In those circumstances we see nothing objectionable in confining the allotment only to the male candidates without putting female candidates to such inconvenience and hardship. The rule cannot, therefore, be attacked as discriminatory on this ground.
15. While this is so we would like to make an observation on one aspect of the matter, namely that while candidates who are transferred from Andhra are to Region I come of their volition and due to better convenience which they have in the city, the candidates from Region I who are transferred to Andhra area go there unwillingly and have to incur expenditure which they due to their economic conditions, may be unable to afford. This is a matter which the Government, in making the rule, should consider and in some way come to their aid such as for instance giving the candidate free admission to the hostel or other financial assistance.
16. Sri Sivarama Sastry also raised a further contention that a discrimination is sought to be made between Region I and Region II, and provision is made for candidates falling under Rule 6 (a) (i) by displacing candidates only from Region I instead of from Region II also. this contention is, according to us, devoid of any substance. If Rule 6 (a) (i) is valid and the candidates referred to in Rule 6 (a) (i) have to be accommodated in the colleges in the twin cities, it is but natural and just that the candidates to replace them should be out of candidates in Region I, to which the twin cities belong.
17. As we are, however, holding that Rule 6 (a) (i) and the corresponding portion of Rule 17 (viii) are invalid, for other reasons as set out earlier in this judgment the Memorandum No. 5765/B2/67 dated 6-10-1967 is directed to be given effect to, to this extent viz. that only such number of candidates out of the petitioners herein equal to the number of candidates admitted under Rule 6 (a) (ii) will be allotted to Andhra. The memorandum in so far as it affects Rule 6 (a) (I) and the corresponding provision in Rule 17 (viii) is quashed and effect cannot be given to it. The petitioner will have their costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 50/- in each petition.
18. Petition allowed.