Madras HC quashes GO reserving 85% seats in medical colleges for State Board students

Madras High Court: In a writ petition filed by students against a Government Order and Clause IV(19) of the prospectus of MBBS/BDS admission, reserving 85% of total seats in Medical colleges for students of Tamil Nadu State Board, a Bench comprising of K. Ravichandrabaabu, J., held that the order is violative of Article 14. The Government of Tamil Nadu through an executive order had reserved 85% of the seats for students of Tamil Nadu State Board, though one such bill to get away with NEET examinations was still pending before President for assent. Aggrieved by the said order, the NEET qualified students filed a writ petition in High Court.

The counsel on behalf of the petitioners contended that the impugned government order is against Article 14 of the Constitution, as it treats the equals unequally. All the students have to go through the same procedure to qualify for NEET irrespective of their Boards. Countering the argument the counsel on behalf of the respondent argued that NEET is the direct infringement of the rights of the State because it takes the State’s right to lay down policy to protect its students for admission under the State Government Seats for MBBS/BDS course. They also argued that the CBSE and other board students are at advantage as compared to the State board students. In regard with Article 14 they said that students studied in the State Board and the students studied in the CBSE Board are not equals. Hence, unequals cannot be treated as equals as per the Article 14 of the Constitution and reasonable classification is allowed by the Constitution itself. In order to produce real equality, the State has passed the impugned Government Order which cannot be faulted.

The Court after hearing arguments from both sides, said that impugned order amounts to discrimination among equals and thus, it violates Article 14 of the Constitution. Under the guise of level playing, the law makes equals unequal. The Government Order has no nexus between the object sought to be achieved. The government order diluted the objected of NEET and thus it is unlawful. The Court allowed all the writ petitions. [V. S. Sai Sachin v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2017 SCC OnLine Mad 2811, decided on 14.07.2017]

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