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inder Dev Arya Vs. University of Rajasthan and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 388 of 1981
Judge
Reported inAIR1981Raj269; 1981()WLN354
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 14, 15(1), 15(4) and 226; Medicial Council Act, 1979 - Sections 33; Rajasthan Medical Colleges Admission Rules, 1980 - Rule 2
Appellantinder Dev Arya
RespondentUniversity of Rajasthan and anr.
Appellant Advocate M.L. Shrimali, Adv.
Respondent Advocate R. Balia, Dy. Govt. Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredIn Amalendu Kumar v. State of Bihar
Excerpt:
constitution of india - article 14 and rules for admission to medical colleges in rajasthan, 1980--rule 2(a)--validity of reservation of seats cannot be treated as preferential treatment--rule 2(a) does not violate provisions of article 14.;the mere fact that the central government has to make the nominations with regard to the reserved seats cannot be considered to be preferential treatment of any kind. as the candidates for the reserved seats have to be drawn from different sources it would be difficult to have uniformity in the matter of selection from amongst them.;in my opinion, therefore, clause (a) of rule 2 cannot be held to be violative of the provisions of article 14 of the constitution.;(b) constitution of india - article 14--and rules for admission to medical colleges,.....orders.c. agrawal, j. 1. in this writ petition filed under article 226 of the constitution of india, the petitioner, shri inder dev arya, has prayed for an appropriate writ, order or direction against the non-petitioners, namely, the university of rajasthan (hereinafter referred to as the university) and the state of rajasthan, directing them to give admission to the petitioner in the m.b.b.s. course of 1980-81,2. this writ petition has been filed in the following circumstances:--3. in the state of rajasthan, there are five medical colleges at jaipur, bikaner udaipur, jodhpur and ajmer. all the five medical colleges are run by the state government. admissions to the aforesaid medical colleges are made after making a joint selection through a selection committee (admission board). for the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.C. Agrawal, J.

1. In this writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner, Shri Inder Dev Arya, has prayed for an appropriate writ, order or direction against the non-petitioners, namely, the University of Rajasthan (hereinafter referred to as the University) and the State of Rajasthan, directing them to give admission to the petitioner in the M.B.B.S. course of 1980-81,

2. This writ petition has been filed in the following circumstances:--

3. In the State of Rajasthan, there are five medical colleges at Jaipur, Bikaner Udaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer. All the five medical colleges are run by the State Government. Admissions to the aforesaid Medical Colleges are made after making a joint selection through a Selection Committee (Admission Board). For the guidance of the Selection Committee in the matter of admissions to the said colleges, the State Government has issued instructions which have been described as Rules for Admission to Medical Colleges in Rajasthan for the year 1980 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules'). According to Rule 1 of the Rules, the total number of admissions to the various medical colleges in Rajasthan will not be more than 550 per year. Rule 2 provides for reservation of certain number of seats for students belonging to certain categories. Clause (a) of Rule 2 provides that 15 seats (three seats each in the Medical Colleges of Rajasthan) should be reserved for students from abroad/other States nominated by Government of India. Clause (b) provides that five seats should be reserved for the students whose parents migrated from Burma and other countries, in or after the year 1963 and are registered as migrants in Rajasthan (one seat in each Medical College). Clause (c) lays down that five seats should be reserved for students from other States of Indian Union on a reciprocal basis. In Clause (d), it is provided that 8% seats should be reserved for natural born candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and 6% for natural born candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes as notified in the Presidential order for the State of Rajasthan and who fulfil conditions as laid down in Rule 3. The said clause also lays down that if the number of qualifying natural born candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes are not sufficient to cover the above reservation, a maximum of 10 reserved seats in a year may be carried forward to the subsequent year. In Clause (e) it is laid down that 25% of the seats, excluding seats reserved in Clause (a) should be reserved for girl candidates and that if eligible and suitable girl candidates from natural born Scheduled Castes/Tribes are not available, these seats should be filled by the male candidates of natural born Scheduled Castes/Tribes. In Clause (f) it is laid down that in case the reservedseats are not filled in a particular category, the unfilled seats will be transferred to general seats. Rule 3 provides the conditions of eligibility which must be fulfilled by a candidate for being admitted and lays down that a candidate must have studied for the last three years continuously as a regular candidate in a recognised institution in Rajasthan or his/her natural father or natural mother should have continuously resided in Rajasthan for a period of last ten years or he/she must be a son/daughter of (i) an employee of Government of Rajasthan including officers of All India Services borne on the State Cadre of Rajasthan, or (ii) Undertakings/Corporations/Improvement Trusts/Municipal Boards/Panchayat Samities/Co-operative Bodies, duly constituted by the Government of Rajasthan or (iii) Statutory bodies and Corporation formed under the Indian Companies Act incorporated in Rajasthan or (iv) a University of Rajasthan or Higher Secondary Board of Education, Rajasthan, who has put in at least three years' service on 1st October of the year of admission in any of the above bodies/service, or he/she is a son/daughter of an employee of Central Government or institutions of the Central Government including Public Sector Undertakings or Corporations situated in Rajasthan and who is permanent or has put in at least three years' continuous service, provided that he is serving in Rajasthan for at least 12 months on the date of application. Rule 3 also prescribed the minimum educational qualifications which must be possessed by the candidate for admission to the Medical Colleges. Rule 4 provides that all the candidates except those belonging to categories (a) and (c) of Rule 2 will have to appear at the Pre-Medical Test to be held by the University in the subjects of Chemistry, Physics and Biology and that in order to be eligible, the candidate shall have to obtain at least 50% marks at the Pre-Medical Test. A provision for relaxation of 10% in the minimum marks has been made in respect of natural born Scheduled Castes/Tribes students.

4. In accordance with the Rules, the University issued a scheme of Examination for Pre-Medical Test, 1980 as well as the Syllabus for the said examination wherein the mode of setting examination papers in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology and English has been laid down and the syllabus for each of the aforesaid subjects has been prescribed. The Pre-Medical Test for admission to the Medical Colleges of Rajasthan was held on November 15, 17 and 20, 1980. The petitioner was one of the students who had appeared at the said test The petitioner has secured 166 marks in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology in the Pre-Medical test

5. After the result of the Pre-Medical Test had been declared, the Government of Rajasthan issued a notification dated 23/27th January, 1981 whereby, it was notified that natural bom Scheduled Castes/Tribes students will be given a relaxation of 15% in the minimum marks required in the Pre-Medical Test for the purpose of admission in the Medical Colleges. By another order, dated 3rd Feb., 1981, the State Govt. increased the number of seats in the various medical colleges by 22 for the purpose of making the said seats available to the students belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes. It appears that out of those 22 additional seats which were created under order dated 3rd February, 1981, 19 were filled up by candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes, but three seats could not be filled up and, therefore, the aforesaid three additional seats were withdrawn by the State Government by its order, dated the 26th February, 1981. Against the five seats which were reserved for students from other State of the Indian Union on reciprocal basis under Rule 2 (c), the State Government has admitted eight students nominated by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir,

6. Since the petitioner could not be admitted in any of the Medical Colleges, he has filed this writ petition wherein he has prayed for the relief referred to above.

7. The writ petition has been contested by the respondents and a reply to the writ petition has been filed on behalf of the State of Rajasthan.

8. I have heard Shri M.L. Shrimali, the learned counsel for the petitioner and Shri Rajesh Balia, the learned Deputy Government Advocate,

9. Shri Shrimali has urged the following contentions:--

(1) The examination papers for Physics, Chemistry and Biology in the Pre-Medical Test were not set in accordance with the Scheme of Examination and the syllabus published by the University inasmuch as in the Physics paper, Question No. 2 (c) was outside the course and themarks assigned to the various parts of Questions Nos. 4 and 5 were not equal. Similarly, in the Chemistry paper, Question No. 6 (b) was outside the syllabus, Question No. B (2) was erroneous and questions Nos. 1 to 4 and 6 to 10 were not divided into 4-5 parts as provided in the Scheme of Examination but contained less than 4-5 parts. In the Biology paper, Question No. 5 (e) (iv) was not in accordance with item 7 (v) of the Syllabus inasmuch as it did not give the choice in different topics as required by item No. 7 (v) and further that marks assigned to various items of Question No. 6 were not equal.

(2) The reservation of 15 seats for students from abroad/other States to be nominated by the Government of India under Clause (a) of Rule 2 and the reservation of 5 seats for students from other States of the Indian Union on reciprocal basis under Clause (c) of Rule 2 of the Rules was violative of the provisions of Articles 14 & 15 of the Constitution and not protected by Clause (4) of Article 15 of the Constitution.

(3) In permitting the students belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes securing less than 40% marks in the Pre-Medical Test for the additional 22 seats, the State Government has discriminated against the petitioner and the aforesaid action of the State Government is violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution.

10. As regards the first contention urged by Shri Shrimali, relating to the errors in the Examination papers of Physics, Chemistry and Biology in the Pre-Medical Test for the year 1980, it may he observed that the defects, that have been pointed out by the petitioner in this writ petition, are the same as those which were pointed out by the petitioner in Jalam Singh v. University of Rajasthan (Civil Writ Petn. No. 2 of 1981, decided on 14th April, 1981).' For the reasons given in the said judgment, the first contention urged by Shri Shrimali cannot be upheld and must be rejected.

11. With regard to the second contention of Shri Shrimali relating to the validity of the reservations contained in Clauses (a) and (c) of Rule 2 of the Rules, the submission of the learned Deputy Government Advocate was that the aforesaid provisions cannot strictly be called provisions with regard to the reservation of seats and that in realityunder the said provisions, the various sources from which admissions can be made to the Medical Colleges, have been prescribed. The learned Deputy Government Advocate has further submitted that it is open to the State Government to prescribe the sources from which the candidates for admission to the Medical Colleges can be selected and that in prescribing such sources in Clauses (a) and (c) of Rule 2 of the Rules, the State Government has not acted arbitrarily but has followed an intelligible differentia which has reasonable nexus with the object sought to be achieved by the Rules.

12. Before examining the submissions urged by Shri Shrimali and the learned Deputy Government Advocate with regard to the validity of Clauses (a) and (c) of Rule 2 of the Rules, it would be convenient to take note of certain decisions of the Supreme Court in which similar questions with regard to the reservation of seats for admission to educational institutions have been considered.

13. In P. Rajendran v. State of Madras, AIR 1968 SC 1012 the Supreme Court was required to deal with the validity of Rule 8 of the Rules framed by the Government of Madras for admission to the Medical Colleges within the State of Madras. By the aforesaid rule, provision had been made for districtwise distribution of seats according to the population of the district. The validity of the aforesaid Rule was challenged on the ground that it was violative of Article 15(1) and Article 14 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court negatived the challenge based on the provisions of Article 15(1) of the Constitution bat struck down the said Rule as being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and held that the districtwise selection of seats in Medical Colleges resulted in discrimination as there was no nexus between the said territorial distribution and the object sought to be achieved by the Rules, namely, to secure the best possible material for admission to medical colleges subject to the provision for socially and educationally backward classes.

14. In A. Periakaruppan v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1971 SC 2303, selection for admission to the Medical Colleges on the basis of unitwise distribution of seats amongst the Colleges belonging to the various units of the State was challenged on the ground that it was violative of the provisions of Articles 14 and 15 ofthe Constitution and the said challenge was upheld by the Supreme Court on the ground that the unitwise distribution of seats was violative of the provisions of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution inasmuch as the object intended to be achieved, viz., to select the best candidates for being admitted to Medical Colleges cannot be satisfactorily achieved by the method adopted.

15. In D. N. Chanchala v. State of Mysore, AIR 1971 SC 1762 the Supreme Court was dealing with the validity of University wise distribution of seats in the Government Medical Colleges, the Supreme Court distinguished its earlier decisions in Rajendran's case (AIR 1968 SC 1012) (supra) and Periakaruppan's case (AIR 1971 SC 2303) (supra) and upheld the said University wise distribution of seats amongst the various Medical Colleges of Karnataka State and has observed that 'Since the Universities are set up for satisfying the educational needs of different areas where they are set up and medical colleges are established in those areas, it can safely be pronounced that they also were set up to satisfy the needs for medical training of those attached to those Universities' and that 'there is nothing undesirable in ensuring that those attached to such Universities have their ambitions to have training in specialised subjects, like medicines, satisfied through Colleges affiliated to their own Universities.' According to the Supreme Court 'such basis for selection has not the disadvantage of districtwise or unitwise selection.' In the said case, the Supreme Court has further observed that the Government which bears the financial burden of running the Government Colleges is entitled to lay down criteria for admission in its own colleges and to decide the sources from which the admission may be made, provided of course, such classification is not arbitrary and has a rational basis and reasonable connection with the object of the Rules. In the said case, the Supreme Court has held that candidates passing through the qualifying examination held by a University formed a class by themselves as distinguished from those passing through such examination from the other two Universities and that such a classification had a reasonable nexus with the object of the Rules, namely, to cater to the needs of the candidates who would naturally look to their own University toadvance their training in technical studies such as medical studies.

16. In Dr. Jagdish Saran v. Union of India, AIR 1980 SC 820 the Supreme Court was dealing with a case relating to admission to the M. D. course (Dermatology) of the University of Delhi. The University of Delhi had made a rule reserving 70% of the seats at the Post-Graduate level to students who had taken their M.B.B.S. degree from the University of Delhi and the remaining 30% of the seats were open to all, including the graduates of Delhi. The aforesaid reservation of 70% seats in favour of Delhi University graduates was challenged before the Supreme Court on the ground that it was violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court repelled the said challenge. In that context, the Supreme Court has dealt with the problem of reservation in the matter of admission in educational institutions in the light of the provisions of the Constitution guaranteeing equality and has observed:

'Constitutional equality itself is dynamic, flexible, and moulded by the variables of life. For instance, if a region is educationally backward or woefully deficient in medical services, there occurs serious educational and health-service disparity for that human region which must be redressed by an equality-and-service minded welfare State. The purpose of such a policy is to remove the existing inequality and to promote welfare-based equality for the denizens of the backward regions. The specific strategy to ameliorate the unequal societal condition is left to the State, provided it is geared to producing equality in the quality of life of that handicapped area subject, of course, to basic recognition of individual equality and criteria of efficiency.' (Para 18)

'If the State, for example, seeks to remove the absence of opportunity for medical education of Adivasis or Islanders who have no inclination or wherewithal to go to far-off cities and join medical colleges, by starting a regional university and medical college in the heart of such backward region and reserves a high percentage of seats there to 'locals' i.e., students from that university, it cannot be castigated as discriminatory. What is directly intended to abolish existing disparity cannot be accused of discrimination.' (Para 19)

'Again, if the State finds that only students from the backward regions,when given medical graduation, will care to serve in that area, drawn towards it by a sense of belonging, and those from outside will, on graduation, leave for the cities or their own regions, it may evolve a policy of preference or reservation for students of that University. That strategy ensures the probability of their serving the backward people for whose benefit the medical courses were opened. Such measures which make for equality of opportunity for medical education and medical service for backward human sectors may be constitutionalised even by Articles 14 and 15.' (Para 20)

But, at the same time, the Supreme Court expressed its concern at 'the tendency to wall off each University as an insulated island of education mindless of the integrated unity and equal opportunity which are an inalienable part of our constitutional value system'. The Supreme Court, however, took note of the existing reality that 'all the country round every University bangs, bars and bolts the doors of medical admission to outsider and if Delhi alone were to keep its doors of hospitality ajar, where are the Delhi graduates to go for higher studies' and therefore, the Supreme Court upheld the impugned reservation. The Supreme Court has, however, observed that 'the Union of India has a special responsibility to ensure that in higher education, provincialism does not erode the integrity of India.'

17. In Charles K. Skaria v. Dr. C. Mathew, AIR 1980 SC 1230, the validity of a rule whereby a quota of 2% of the total number of seats in the M.S. and M.D. courses of the various Universities of Kerala had been prescribed for candidates from the entire country except Kerala, was under challenge. The Kerala High Court had struck down the said rule on the ground that the aforesaid quota of 2% for the whole country was too low and illusory. The Supreme Court affirmed the said judgment of the Kerala High Court and observed that fundamental rights of the candidates do not depend on the grace of Governments and Indians are not aliens in their own motherland when asking for seats on the score of equal opportunity. The Supreme Court has also cautioned the State of Kerala that an enlightened policy of admission to institutions of higher studies in harmony with the Constitution must be formulated if it is not to be guilty of confusion in college campuses and studentlitigation which paralyse educationallife.

18. The aforesaid decisions of the Supreme Court show that while the Supreme Court has struck down districtwise and unitwise distribution of seats for admission to educational institutions, it has upheld Universitywise allocation of seats for admission to such institutions. But at the same time, the Supreme Court has expressed its disapproval for confining the bounds of educational institutions to students belonging to a particular State or University only and has advised a more enlightened approach having an All India perspective in the matter of admission to educational institutions for higher education.

19. Reservations similar to those contained in Clauses (a) and (c) of Rule 2 of the Rules came up for consideration before the Supreme Court in Chitra Ghosh v. Union of India, AIR 1970 SC 35, which related to admission to the Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. According to the college prospectus, 23 seats were reserved for certain categories of students, viz., sons/daughters of the residents of Union Territories specified therein including displaced persons registered therein and sponsored by the Government; sons/ daughters of Central Government servants posted in Indian missions abroad, Cultural Scholars, Colombo Plan Scholars, Thailand Scholars and Jammu and Kashmir State Scholars. The aforesaid provision regarding reservation of seats was challenged on the ground that it was violative of the provisions of Article 14 and Clauses (1) and (4) of Article 15 and Clause (2) of Article 29 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court negatived the said challenge made on the basis of Arti cles 15 and 29 (2) on the ground that the students were not being denied admission to the medical colleges on the ground only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. While dealing with the challenge made on the basis of Article 14 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court observed:--

'It is the Central Government which bears the financial burden of running the medical college. It is for it to lay down the criteria for eligibility. From the very nature of things it is not possible to throw the admission open to students from all over the country. The Government cannot be denied the right to decide from what sources the admission will be made. That essentially is a question of policy and depends inter alia on an overall assessment and survey of the requirements of residents of particular territories and other categories of persons for whom it is essential to provide facilities for medical education. If the sources are properly classified whether on territorial, geographical or other reasonable basis it is not for the courts to interfere with the manner and method of making the classification.'

20. After examining the various categories which were under challenge, the Supreme Court held that the classification in all these cases was based on intelligible differentia which distinguished them from the group to which the appellants before the Supreme Court belonged and that it was difficult to see how that classification had no rational nexus with the object of imparting medical education and also of selection for that purpose. In the said case, while dealing with the category relating to Cultural Scholars, Colombo Plan Scholars and Thailand Scholars, the Supreme Court observed that the said scholars

'are given admissions in the medical institutions in this country by reason of reciprocal arrangements of educationaland cultural nature.'

21. In D. N. Chanchala's case (AIR 1971 SC 1762) (supra) 60 seats had been set apart for candidates belonging to different categories, viz., students from Union Territories and States where there are no medical colleges, students from relatively less developed Commonwealth countries, cultural scholars and students under the T.C.S. of the Colombo Plan and Special Commonwealth Assistance Plan, students from Nepal, repatriates from Burma, Ceylon and Mozambique, children of the Defence Personnel and Ex-Defence personnel, students who had passed L.A.M.S. and L.U.W.S., lady students taking family planning programme, children of political sufferers and students from Goa. While dealing with the aforesaid categories, the Supreme Court has reiterated the principles laid down earlier in Chitra Ghosh's case (AIR 1970 SC 35) (supra) and has observed (at page 1770 of AIR 1971 SC):--

'Setting apart 60 seats under Rule 4 is, as already stated, not a reservation but laying down sources for selection necessitated by certain overriding considerations, such as obligations towards those who serve the interests of the country's security, certain reciprocal obligations and the like.'

22. If the provisions contained in Clauses (a) and (c) of Rule 2 of the Rules are considered in the light of the aforesaid decisions of the Supreme Court, it can be held that the aforesaid clauses do not provide for reservation but lay down the sources for selection of candidates for admission to medical colleges. Now, the question that has to be considered, is as to whether in laying down the said sources, a rational classification has been made and whether the said classification has a reasonable nexus with the object sought to be achieved by the Rules.

23. In so far as Clause (a) of Rule 2 is concerned, it provides for 15 seats (three seats each in the medical colleges of Rajasthan) for students from abroad/ other States nominated by the Government of India. Instead of specifying the various categories from which the aforesaid seats would be filled, as was done in Chitra Ghosh's case (AIR 1970 SC 35) (supra) and D. N. Chanchala's case (AIR 1971 SC 1762) (supra), the present rule empowers the Government of India to nominate the students from out of the students from abroad and other States. It is to be expected that in exercising its powers to nominate the 15 students for admission, from amongst the students from abroad/other States, the Government of India will be governed by the reciprocal international obligations insofar as foreign students are concerned and the absence of adequate facilities for medical education in other States of India. In this context, reference may be made to the following observations of the Supreme Court in Chitra Ghosh's case (AIR 1970 SC 35) (supra):

'The mere fact that the Central Government has to make the nominations with regard to the reserved seats cannot be considered to be preferential treatment of any kind. As the candidates for the reserved seats have to be drawn from different sources it would be difficult to have uniformity in the matter of selection from amongst them. The High Court was right in saying that the standards of the examination passed by them, the subject studied by them and the educational background of each of them would be different and divergent had (and?) therefore the Central Government was the appropriate authority which could make a proper selection out of those categories.' (Para 11)

24. The aforesaid observations are (equally applicable insofar as Clause (a) of Rule 2 is concerned and in my opinion,therefore, Clause (a) of Rule 2 cannot be held to be violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution.

25. Coming to Clause (c) of Rule 2, it may be observed that the said clause provides that five seats will be kept for students from other States of the Indian Union on a reciprocal basis. As noticed earlier, the conditions of eligibility laid down in Rule 3 seek to confine admission in the medical colleges in Rajasthan to students who have studied in an educational institution in Rajasthan for a particular number of years or any of whose parents have resided in Rajasthan for a particular number of years or any of whose parent has been in the service of the Government of Rajasthan or Central Government or the institutions mentioned in the said Rule for a particular number of years. In other words, Rule 3 has closed the doors of medical colleges in the State of Rajasthan to students belonging to other parts of the country. Clause (c) of Rule 2 enables the doors of the medical colleges to be opened for students belonging to other States of Indian Union. The aforesaid policy of allotting seats for students from other States of the Indian Union has been followed for some time past. In Surendra Kumar v. State of Rajasthan, ILR (1969) 19 Raj 76: (AIR 1969 Raj 182), this Court has considered the validity of a notification issued by the State Government whereby three seats had been set apart for students at the discretion of the State Government in special circumstances. In the said case, this Court has noticed that the aforesaid three seats had been filled in by students from Jammu and Kashmir as a result of reciprocal arrangement, and has observed that no serious objection could be taken for filling up the three seats in that particular year. In this context, reference may also be made to the decision of the Supreme Court in Miss Nishi Maghu v. State of Jammu and Kashmir, AIR 1980 SC 1975. In the said case, the Supreme Court has referred to the fact that following the request made by the Government of India, 10% of the seats in the Government Medical College, Jammu for the academic year 1979-80 were reserved for students from other States on reciprocal basis. This shows that there is an All India policy for allocation of seats in educational institutions, especially medical colleges, to students from other States on reciprocal basis. The aforesaid policy decision appears to be in consonance with the observations of the Supreme Court.in Dr. Jagdish Saran's case (AIR 1980 SC 820) (supra) that the Union of India has special responsibility to ensure that in higher education, provinciality does not erode the integrity of India. Even though the number of seats set apart for students belonging to other States is too meagre but still it appears to be a step in the right direction and it cannot be held to be violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution.

26. The main challenge of Shri Shrimali to the aforesaid provision contained in Clause (c) of Rule 2 was that in so far as selection from the general categories is concerned, the said selection is made on the basis of merit but in so far as the seats which are set apart for students belonging to other States are concerned, the same can be filled in at the discretion of the State Governments concerned and that such a provision would thus operate as a device for conferring mutual favours by the State Governments concerned on certain students. It cannot be assumed that while nominating students for admission to the medical colleges under Clause (c) of Rule 2 the State Governments will so act as to confer undue favours on particular candidates. It can be reasonably expected that the State Governments concerned, while nominating the candidates, will bear in mind the object sought to be achieved by the Rules, viz., to select the best and most meritorious candidates for admission to medical colleges and will adopt a procedure whereby the best and most meritorious candidates are nominated. Furthermore, it is settled law that the mere possibility of a power being abused cannot be a ground for denying the power. This is more so when the power is to be exercised by the highest authority, that is, the State Government, itself. It is not possible to assume that while exercising the powers, the State Government would act in a manner as to confer undue favours on certain persons. Moreover, in case, the power is found to have been exercised in a manner as to favour an undeserving candidate at the cost of a deserving candidate, the matter can be agitated before the Court and suitable relief can be given. In the present case, the petitioner has neither challenged the nominations, that have been made by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir for filling up the eight vacancies in the Medical Colleges of Rajasthan for students belonging to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, nor has the petitioner challengedthe nominations made by the State of Rajasthan for admission to the eight seats set apart on reciprocal basis for students belonging to the State of Rajasthan in the medical colleges in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. For the reasons aforesaid, the challenge to the validity of Clause (c) of Rule 2 of the Rules fails.

27. As regards the third contention urged by Shri Sbrimali relating to the admissions of candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, to the 19 additional seats that were created for them after reducing the minimum percentage of qualifying marks in Pre-Medical Test from 40% to 35%, it may be observed that the petitioner is a person who does not belong to the cetegory of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes students. It is also not the case of the petitioner that as a result of the admission of candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes on the 19 additional seats the quota prescribed in Clause (d) of Rule 2 of the Rules has been contravened. The petitioner, thus, has no locus standi to challenge the aforesaid admissions. In this connection reference may be made to the decision of the Supreme Court in Suresh v. Vasant AIR 1972 SC 1680. In that case 12% seats were reserved for students, belonging to Scheduled Castes and Nawabuddhas and 8% seats were reserved for students belonging to Scheduled Tribes in the M.Sc. (Agri.) Course in the various agriculture colleges attached to the Punjab Rao Krishi Vidyapeeth. The qualifications that were prescribed for admission to the M.Sc. (Agri.) Course, were degree of B.Sc. (Agri.) or an equivalent examination with at least 50% marks in the aggregate in the subject offered for the Post-graduate Studies. Finding that certain relaxation of marks was necessary for students belonging to the classes for whom reservation had been made, the Vidyapeeth lowered the qualifying marks for the purpose of admission from 50% to 45% and created 12 additional seats for persons belonging to the reserved categories. Students who did not belong to the reserved categories and had been denied admission, challenged the admissions made against the 12 additional seats on the basis of relaxation in the qualifying marks. The Bombay High Court accepted the said challenge and set aside the admissions made against the aforesaid additional seats. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Bombay High Court on the ground that the studentswho had challenged the admission had no locus standi to challenge the same. In that context, the Supreme Court has observed (at p. 1681):--

'Without going into the question of the validity of the resolution of the Executive Council by which the qualifications were lowered or the number of seats was increased by 12 for sons of Freedom Fighters and others we have no hesitation in accepting to the contention of Mr. Daphtary that the writ petition was bound to fail on the short ground that none of the respondents who were petitioners before the High Court could show that he was entitled to be admitted to any one of the seats out of the 12 seats which had been newly created for specified categories pursuant to the resolution of the Executive Council. Admittedly, none of these candidates was either a son of a Freedom Fighter or belonged to the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.'

28. The present case is on all fours with the aforesaid decision of the Supreme Court in Suresh v. Vasant (supra) inasmuch as here also the 19 additional seats have been created for students belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and the said seats have been filled up by lowering the qualifying marks from 40% to 35%, If the said additional seats were not filled from amongst the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, they would not have been available to the students belonging to the other castes. The petitioner neither belongs to a Scheduled Caste nor to a Scheduled Tribe. He can have no say in the matter of filling of those additional seats and he has, therefore, no locus standi to challenge the admission to the said seats.

29. That apart, even on merits, there is no substance in the objection raised by the petitioner. The contention of Shri Shrimali was that Clause (1) of Article 15 of the Constitution prohibits the State from discriminating against any citizen on grounds only of race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them and the only exception to the aforesaid prohibition is that contained to Clause (4) of Article 15 which permits the State to make any such provision for the advancement of any socially and economically backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Shri Shrimali has submitted that while exercising its powers under Clause (4) of Article 15, the State has to take into consideration the object sought to be achieved by the Rules, viz., to select the best and the most meritorious students for admission to the Medical Colleges in the State of Rajasthan and that while 50% were the minimum qualifying marks that had been prescribed for the general category of students only 35% were prescribed as the minimum marks in relation to the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and that as a result thereof, the object of selecting meritorious candidates for admission would not be achieved and, therefore, the relaxation in the minimum marks for admission in relation to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to 35%, is unconstitutional. In support of his aforesaid submission, Shri Shrimali has placed reliance on the decision of Full Bench of the Patna High Court in Amalendu Kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1980 Pat 1. I am unable to accept the aforesaid contention of Shri Shrimali.

30. In D.N. Chanchala's case (AIR 1971 SC 1762) (supra), the Supreme Court, while dealing with the question relating to the reservation of certain seats for admission to Medical Colleges in the State of Karnataka, has observed (at p. 1775):

'The object of the rules for admission can obviously be to secure a fair and equitable distribution of seats amongst those seeking admission and who are eligible under the University Regulations. Such distribution can be on the principle that admission should be available to the best and the most meritorious. But an equally fair and equitable principle would also be that which secures admission in a just proportion to those who are handicapped and who, but for the preferential treatment given to them, would not stand a chance against those who are not so handicapped and are, therefore, in a superior position. The principle underlying Article 15(4) is that a preferential treatment can validly be given because the socially and educationally backward classes need it, so that in course of time they stand in equal position with the more advanced sections of the society.'

The aforesaid observations of the Supreme Court show that apart from selecting the best and the most meritorious students for the purpose of admission to the Medical Colleges, the object of the Rules is also to secure admission in just proportion to those who are handicapped and who, but for the preferential treatment given to them, would not stand achance against those who are not so handicapped and are, therefore, in a superior position. The scheme underlying Clause (4) of Article 15 is that persons belonging to socially and educationally backward classes, and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes suffer from a handicap on account of their inferior position in the society for the past hundreds of years and special protection is necessary for candidates belonging to the aforesaid classes and, therefore, provision can be made for giving preferential treatment to such candidates. Rule 3 (c) of the Rules recognises this principle and makes provision for relaxation of 10% in the minimum marks acquired in the Pre-Medical Test. The re-suits of the Pre-Medical Test showed that even after making the aforesaid 10% relaxation, the number of candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who had qualified for selection, was not adequate so as to fill the quota prescribed for them under Clause (d) of Rule 2, and in order that adequate number of candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes could secure admission to the Medical Colleges, a further relaxation of 5% was made in the minimum marks. While the aforesaid relaxation was made in the minimum marks, the number of seats to be allotted to the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, was also increased. The aforesaid relaxation did not, however, prejudicially affect the rights of candidates belonging to other communities to be selected for admission to the Medical Colleges. It cannot also be said that as a result of relaxation in the minimum marks required in the Pre-Medical Test in relation to students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes the standard of efficiency of medical education would be pre-judicially affected, because, there has been no relaxation in the minimum qualifications that are prescribed by the various Universities for admission to the M.B.B.S. Course and, therefore, the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who have been admitted as a result of the said relaxation in the minimum qualifying marks, are not persons who did not possess the minimum qualifications prescribed by the respective Universities for admission to the M.B.B.S. Course. Moreover, relaxation in the minimum qualifying marks at the stage of admission to the Medical Colleges can have no bearing on the efficiencyof the medical education and the medical services, because no person can obtain the M.B.B.S. Degree unless he completes the course prescribed by the University, and no relaxation has been made in the matter of award of M.B.B.S. Degree in favour of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes students, and all students who have been admitted to the Medical Colleges, will have to satisfy the standards prescribed by the Universities concerned for award of the M.B.B.S. Degree. Thus, it cannot be said that relaxation in the matter of minimum marks required in the Pre-Medical Test in the matter of admission to the M.B.B.S. Course may have adverse effect on the efficiency of the medical education or the Medical Services in the country.

31. In this context, it would be relevant to note that in exercise of the powers conferred on it under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, the Medical Council of India in its revised recommendations made in 1979, for undergraduate medical education (which have been approved by the Central Government on 15th October, 1979, under Section 33 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956), has made the following provision in relation to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes:

'Provided further that in respect of candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes the minimum marks required for admission shall be 40% in lieu of 50% for general candidates.

Where the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes students in any State cannot be filled for want of requisite number of candidates fulfilling the minimum requirements prescribed from that State, then such vacant seats may be filled up on All India basis with Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates getting not less than the minimum prescribed pass percentage.

The authorities (State Governments and Universities) should arrange special coaching classes for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes candidates before the qualifying competitive examination to enable them to come up to the appropriate standard for admission to the Medical Course.'

The provision contained in Rule 3 (c) for giving of relaxation of 10% in the minimum marks required- in the Pre-Medical Test to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, is in accordance with the aforesaid recommendations at the Medical Council of India. The further relaxation of 5% in the minimum marks made by the State Government by its notification dated 23/27 January, 1981, is also in consonance with the said recommendations of the Medical Council of India, because, even after the aforesaid relaxation, the requirement that the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates must have not less than the prescribed percentage has not been given up, and that candidates are required to have passed the qualifying examination, prescribed for the purpose of admission to the M.B.B.S. Course by the Universities concerned before they can be selected for admission to the Medical Colleges. In the circumstances, it cannot be said that in relaxing the minimum qualifying marks in the Pre-Medical Test for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates, the State Government has, in any manner, adversely affected the efficiency of medical education in the State of Rajasthan.

32. In this context, it would be pertinent to refer to the following observations of Krishna Iyer, J. in his leading judgment in Dr. Jagdish Saran's case (AIR 1980 SC 820 at p. 834) (supra):--

'We cannot be scared by glorifying merit nor be hypnotised by the cult of talent, seeing as we do, crowds of M.Ds., M.Ss. and their foreign analogues. Nor, indeed, are the entrance tests any but the feeblest yardsticks to measure innate capabilities. Is it not the wildest hostage to fortune to swear by marks alone which are so freakish and determined by a chancy variety of variables? We find different modes of examining faculties in different universities, commissions and countries and may, on closer scrutiny, pick holes in the scientific basis of our entrance tests themselves. We repeat all this only to stress the limitations on the current system of selection so that we may not be swept off our feet by the elitist feeling that something sacred or scientific is being jettisoned for the sake of accommodating nitwits of backward regions institutions or classes when marks are slightly slurred over.'

33. In Amalendu Kumar v. State of Bihar (AIR 1980 Pat 1) (FB) (supra), the minimum qualifying marks that were prescribed for general category of standards were 45% and in relation to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes, the minimum qualifying marks had been reduced to 40%. Thesaid minimum qualifying marks in relation to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates were subsequently further reduced to 35% and the learned Judges of the Patna High Court held that the reduction of the minimum qualifying marks to 35% in relation to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates was violative of the provisions of Clause (1) of Article 15 of the Constitution and was not saved by provisions of Clause (4) of Article 15. In taking the aforesaid view, the learned Judges of the Patna High Court have placed strong reliance on the recommendations that had been made by the Medical Council of India with regard to admission to the Medical Colleges. The learned Judges of the Patna High Court have pointed out that according to the recommendations of the Medical Council of India, relaxation of 5% in the minimum marks could be given to candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes and have observed that further relaxation in the minimum qualifying marks from 45% to 40% and thereafter to 35% had no relevance to the primary object of securing the best possible candidates consistent with the objective of making provisions for advancement of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In my opinion, the aforesaid decision of the Patna High Court, instead of lending assistance to the argument of Shri Shrimali, goes against him inasmuch as the decision of the Patna High Court is based on the original recommendations of the Medical Council of India, which were made in 1979 and thereafter the Medical Council has revised its recommendations, whereby, it has permitted relaxation to a greater extent in favour of candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, The relaxation that has been made by the State Government under order dated 23/27 January, 1981, is in consonance with the aforesaid revised recommendations of the Medical Council of India. The learned Judges of the Patna High Court have observed that Medical Council of India is an expert body and the recommendations made by it can be made the basis for testing the validity of the relaxations made in favour of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes for the purpose of admission to Medical Colleges. In that case, the High Court held the relaxation to be violative of the provisions of Article 15(1) of the Constitution on the ground that it was in excess of the relaxation permissible under toe recommendations of the Medical Council of India. On the same logic, the relaxation in the present case, must be upheld, because, it is in consonance with the revised recommendations of the Medical Council of India.

34. For the reasons aforesaid, the challenge to the admission of 19 candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes on the basis of relaxation of 15% in the minimum marks in the Pre-Medical Test, cannot be held to be violative of the provisions of Article 15(1) read with Article 15(4) of the Constitution.

35. Thus, none of the contentions urged by Shri Shrimali in support of the writ petition can be accepted.

36. The writ petition is, therefore, dismissed. But in the circumstances, the parties are left to bear their own costs in this writ petition.


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