Gujarat HC partly quashes ordinance abolishing NRI quota in medical colleges
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday partly quashed a government ordinance abolishing all NRI quota in colleges offering medical courses in the state.
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday partly quashed a government ordinance abolishing all NRI quota in colleges offering medical courses in the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi held unconstitutional the government's decision to cancel quota for "genuine" NRIs seeking admission in colleges in the state, while upholding its decision to abolish quota for "dependent" NRIs.
The court observed that there was "no reason to remove the NRI quota entirely" as this amounted to the violation of Supreme Court order in the PA Inamdar case and was unconstitutional.
It said that as per the Supreme Court order in the PA Inamdar case, limited reservation not exceeding 15 percent may be given to the NRIs, but only "genuine" and not "dependents or sponsors" of NRIs be given this reservation.
Partly allowing the petitions, the court said the wards of dependents of NRIs are also given admission under reservation, while the SC has only talked about reservation in the context of "genuine" NRIs.
"There is no reason to remove NRI quota, and hence the ordinance is set aside to the extent of removing genuine NRIs from the quota system. This, however, won't apply to NRI dependents. Thus the writ application is partly allowed," the court said.
The state government had earlier this year issued an ordinance, called the Gujarat Professional Medical Educational Colleges or Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fees) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, whereby the entire quota for NRIs in medical colleges was abolished.
The high court also refused to stay its order for two weeks when the lawyer of one of the five petitioners, a consortium of self-finance dental colleges, requested the same so that his client could move the Supreme Court.
Five petitioners, including a consortium of self-financed dental colleges and four NRI admission seekers, had challenged the constitutional validity of the Gujarat Professional Medical Educational Colleges or Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fees) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016.
Through the ordinance, the state government abolished the quota of 15 percent offered to NRIs for admissions in colleges offering medical, para-medical and dental courses.
The petitioners have contended that abolishing of quota goes against the Supreme Court order in PA Inamdar case, whereby 15 percent seats were reserved for NRIs.
Students, who challenged the ordinance, also questioned its timing contending that the ordinance was issued at a stage when they were prepared to seek admission under the quota.
The government has maintained in its submission that it has the authority to issue ordinances to abolish quota for NRIs.
The government pleader maintained that the NRIs should not be encouraged to take admission in medical colleges in the state as they show reluctance to serve as junior doctors in rural areas for a given period of time.
He said that the quota was abolished keeping in mind the requirements of local aspirants.
The Gujarat government, while abolishing NRI quota, increased the management quota in these colleges from 10 percent to 25 percent, so as to ensure that students of Gujarat domicile get maximum benefit.