‘Child prodigy’ allowed to take part in counselling for BAMS course even when age criteria prescribed in prospectus not fulfilled

Madras High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of T. Raja, J. disposed of a writ petition by allowing a ‘child prodigy’ of 16 years old to take part in the counselling for the BAMS Course, as in accordance to the old notification in regard to the admission eligibility, petitioner was not included for the same.

In the present case, the purpose of filing this petition was that of the declaration of Clause 3 of the prospectus issued by respondents for admission to BSMS/BAMS/BNYS/BUMS/BHMS courses as unconstitutional and ultra vires and further a direction to the respondents to include petitioner’s name in merit list for UG courses in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy.

It was submitted by amicus curiae Mr R. Thiagarjan that the petitioner has passed HSE and applied for the above-stated course. Petitioner has been a meritorious student and recited 1330 thirukurals while studying in LKG and was also awarded a certificate by “Deiveeka Sidhanta Ilakiya Mandram”. In addition to this, petitioner had received many certificates and awards. With the stated credentials, petitioner aspired to get admission in any one of the courses offered by respondent and had scored 157.25 cut off marks as per the Clause 10 of the prospectus. Amicus curiae stated that the marks scored by the petitioner had put his rank between 1648-1666 but unfortunately due to petitioner’s age not being 17, she was not considered.

Learned amicus curiae had also relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in Rajiv Kapoor v. State of Haryana, (2000) 9 SCC 115, wherein it was held that:

“when the eligibility criteria is wrongly fixed in the prospectus and contrary to the Rule, the candidate cannot be rejected based on the condition mentioned in the prospectus, when that the candidate comply with other eligibility Rules.”

Thus, the High Court found no impediment on the basis of the latest amended notification as pointed out by the amicus curiae to allow the petitioner to take part in the counselling. The Court stated that learned amicus curiae has placed the rules and criteria for admission along with the decision of Supreme Court, the Court placed its appreciation for his immediate response and assistance to the Court. [Yazhesy Tha v. Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, WP No. 29474 of 2018, Order dated 22-11-2018]

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