Gopalan Nambiyar, C.J.
1. The petitioner challenges certain conditions in Ext. P-1 Prospectus for admission to the Medical Colleges in the State and prays for a declaration that the insistence in Clause 1 (b) that Science graduates should also satisfy the require-merit of minimum qualifying marks of 50% in the Optional Subjects in the pre-degree examination, provided for by Clause 1 (a), is unreasonable, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution; and for a writ of mandamus to consider his application for admission, unhampered by the above said insistence in Clause 1 (b). The petitioner had passed the pre-degree examination in 1972 obtaining an aggregate of 47% in the optional subjects, viz., Physics, Chemistry and Biology. On the strength of the pre-degree qualification, the minimum marks in these optional subjects required for admission to the Medical College is 50%. On the strength of his pre-degree performance, the petitioner had no chance of being considered for admission. But the petitioner had passed the B. Sc. examination in 1976 obtaining a I Class and securing 69% of marks in the aggregate. His subjects were Botany (Main), and Chemistry and Zoology (Subsidiary). He further passed the M. Sc. degree examination in First Class in 1978. On this record he claims to be entitled to admission, and would contend that the same cannot be negatived by the record of his performance at the pre-degree stage.
The relevant rules in the Prospectus are extracted below:
'1. Eligibility for admission.--
(a) Candidates who have passed the Pre-degree examination of the Kerala/ Calicut University with physics, Chemistry and Biology as optional subjects or an examination declared equivalent thereto shall be eligible for admission if they have secured 50% marks or above for the optional subjects mentioned above. Relaxation of 10% marks will be allowed in the case of the optional subjects, to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes and 5% to Socially and Educationally backward classes: OR
(b) Candidates who have qualified themselves for B. Sc. Degree (3 years course) of the Kerala/Calicut University or any other University recognised by the University of Kerala/Calicut with Physics/Chemistry/Zoology/Botany as main and any one or two of the above subjects as subsidiary, shall be eligible for admission. Such candidates should satisfy the qualification requirements in (a) above as well.
Note.-- Marks for each subsidiary subject should be given separately. Marks for Mathematics taken as one of the half subsidiary subject will not be reckoned, i. e., marks for Mathematics will be deducted and the rest calculated out of a maximum of 1000. Candidates coming under Sub-clause (b) should have not less than 50% marks in the main and subsidiary subjects put together. Relaxation of 10% marks will be available to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and 5% to socially and educationally Backward Classes.XX XX XX
7. Allocation of seats.-- The 483 seats available after deducting 42 seats for mandatory admission as provided in Clause 6 will be distributed among the students of the Kerala and Calicut Universities in the ratio of the candidates who have registered for the pre-degree and B. Sc. courses in the two Universities, taking the average of the number of candidates registered for the courses with eligibility for admission to Medical Colleges for the last three years. Accordingly, for the year 1978-79, 347 seats are allocated for candidates belonging to the Kerala University and 136 seats for candidates belonging to the Calicut University. Out of the 347 seats allocated for the students of the Kerala University, 2% of the seats viz., 7 seats will be reserved for candidates from Universities other than Kerala and Calicut who are Indian citizens of Kerala origin and who are otherwise eligible for admission. Similarly out of the 136 seats allocated for the students of the Calicut University, 2% viz., 2 seats will be reserved for candidates from Universities other than Kerala and Calicut who are Indian citizens of Kerala origin and who are otherwise eligible for admission. If the seats set apart for candidates from the other Universities referred to above remain unfilled, they will be filled up by the candidates selected on the basis of merit from the respective group. Candidates seeking admission to the Medical Colleges against the above seats should submit along with their application a certificate in the prescribed form obtained from the Tahsildar of the concerned Taluk to the effect that he/she belongs to the Kerala State.
8. The seats allocated to the Kerala and Calicut Universities as specified in Clause 7 will be distributed between science Graduates and pre-degree candidates, in the ratio of 3:2.
XX XX XX13. In the case of science graduates, merit will be assessed on the basis of the total marks secured for the optional subjects for the degree examination. The marks obtained for mathematics will be deducted from the total and the rest will be calculated out of a maximum of 1000.
14. In the case of pre-degree candidates, merit will be assessed on the basis of the total marks secured by them in part II (i) optional subjects, is Physics, Chemistry, Biology at the pre-degree examination or its equivalent examination calculated on a maximum of 450 marks.
(underlining in Rule 1 (b), ours)XXX XXX XXX XXX '
Having regard to the requirement in Rule 1 (b) that candidates relying on degree qualification should satisfy the requirements of Clause 1 (a) as well, it is obvious that the petitioner would not stand a chance of admission, as he did not satisfy the 50% of marks for optional subjects in the pre-degree examination. The petitioner's complaint is that this insistence is unfair, inequitable and arbitrary. It was argued that the scheme of the Rules was to divide the candidates into under-graduates and degree-holders and to distribute the total number of seats available for admission between these two sets of candidates in the ratio of 3:2, as done by Rule 8; and that thereafter, the eligibility for admission of each group must be judged solely and exclusively with reference to the merits of the performance of the candidates in the respective examinations on the basis of merit, namely, either the pre-degree or the degree examinations. There was, it was said, no justification for tacking on the performance at the pre-degree stage to that at the degree level. Whatever be the merits of the argument, the portion of Rule 1 (b) that we have underlined, is clear that the requirements of Clause 1 (b) are cumulative to those of Rule 1 (a), although the juxtaposition of the two clauses linked by 'OR' gives the impression that the clauses are alternative. Nor can it be said that this provision is so inequitable or arbitrary and unreasonable as to warrant our interference under Article 226.
There is certainly sufficient reasonableness and equity underlying the insistence on a minimum number of marks, (50%), in the basic subjects at the Pre-degree stage even in the case of Degree candidates. It might be to ensure that the foundation in the basic subjects was well laid. Again, it may well be, -- as will be seen from the case of the petitioner -- that the performance at the Degree level does not afford a safe test of the proficiency in all the three basic optional subjects.
The petitioner, for instance, did not cover Physics at the degree stage. This aspect apart, in the counter affidavit, the stand taken is that the Indian Medical Council had recommended that this aspect of the qualifications was necessary, and that degree-holders seeking to obtain admission for the I M. B. B. S. must satisfy the requirement of having obtained at least 50% of the marks in the optional subjects at the pre-degree stage. The 'Minimum recommendations of the Indian Medical Council on under graduate medical education, adopted by the Medical Council of India on 15th and 16th April, 1977', were made available to us. Under, what we may call, the first lead of these recommendations headed 'Admission to the Medical Course', the Council recommended that no candidate shall be admitted to the Medical curriculum until he has passed (a) the intermediate examination in Science with Physics, Chemistry and Biology or (b) the pre-professional medical examination with the same subjects or (c) the first year of the three years degree course of a recognised University with Physics, Chemistry and Biology or (d) the B. Sc. examination of an Indian University etc. (We leave out the other alternative qualifications recommended). There is a note which reads as follows :
'Note: A student who has passed the B. Sc. examination with one or more of the subjects mentioned earlier would be admitted to the Medical Course if he had passed the remaining subjects of the Medical group (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) in the pre-professional/intermediate examination.'
The second head of recommendation deals with 'Selection of Students'. Under this head, it is stated that the selection shall be based solely on merit and for the determination of merit, the following criteria were to be adopted. In laying down the criteria, it is stated that the Candidate for admission to the Medical course must have obtained not less than 50% of the total marks in Science subjects taken together, (a) at the qualifying examination or at the higher examination in the case of medical colleges where admissions are made on the basis of marks obtained at these examinations or (ii) 50% of the total marks in Science subjects taken together at the competitive entrance examinations where such examinations are held for selection. In evaluating the content of these recommendations of the Indian Medical council, we are not certainly in the regions of construing a statutory provision; and we cannot scan the terms of the recommendations with that meticulous care and punctiliousness required in statutory constructions. All that we are able to say, and all that we propose to say is this: that from the recommendations of the Council the Rules evolved and stated in the Prospectus are not unreasonable deductions; and that the insistence on 50% of the marks in the three optional subjects at the pre-degree stage in addition to 50% at the degree level cannot be said to be unreasonable or arbitrary, having no nexus to the object of securing admission of the best talent. We are not prepared to say, as submitted by counsel for the petitioner, that the only inference possible from the recommendations of the Medical Council is that the pre-degree candidates should be judged solely and exclusively on the merits of their performance at the pre-degree stage, and the degree-holders exclusively with respect to their performance at the degree stage. In this view the petitioner can have no grievance. We dismiss this writ petition, but in the circumstances without any order as to costs. O. P. No. 3769 of 1978
2. The petitioner is also an applicant for admission to the Medical College. He obtained only 40% in the optional subjects in the pre-degree examination. In the B. Sc. examination he secured 708 out of an aggregate of 1000 marks. He is a Muslim candidate and belongs to one of the 'Backward Classes of this State. But even as a member of Bark-ward Class, it was admitted by his counsel that the minimum qualifying marks for admission of candidate belonging to this class is 732. That being so, it is quite plain and obvious that the petitioner's writ petition for admission must fail, and has little chance to succeed. On the merits, the petition must fail for reasons given in O. P. No. 3693 of 1978. We dismiss this writ petition with no order as to costs.
O. P. No. 3754 of 1978
3. The petitioner stands in the same position as the petitioner in O. P. No. 3693 of 1978. That is to say, he has no chance for admission on the basis of his performance at the pre-degree stage, although he stands a chance on the basis of his performance in the degree stage. But the prospectus requires that the performance at the pre-degree stage and at the degree stage to be taken as cumulative conditions as far as the marks in the basic subjects are concerned. We have held in O. P. No. 3693 of 1978 that there is nothing unreasonable or inequitable in the cumulative requirement of marks at the two stages. It follows that this writ petition must be dismissed. We do so, with no order as to costs.