Mumbai: The Bombay High Court recently directed the State government to allow a 19-year-old student to enrol for an MBBS course based on her National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) scores, and to cancel the admission for BAMS she had earlier secured based on her State entrance test score.
A Division Bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and Bharati Dangre was hearing a plea filed by Maithilee Kadam from Nanded. She had sought direction to the State government, Commissionerate of the Common Entrance Test Cell and the Directorate of Medical Educationand Research to allow her to take admission in MBBS or BDS on the basis of her score in NEET-UG, 2017.
After clearing the HSC exam, Ms. Kadam secured 147 out of 200 marks in the MH-CET. She appeared again for the State common entrance test and scored 168. She then enrolled for a BAMS course in an Ayruveda college in 2016-17.
In January 2017, as per directions from the Supreme Court, the Medical Council and Dental Council of India — in consultation with CBSE — published a notification to conduct NEET-UG 2017 across India for MBBS and BDS courses. As per the judgment, Ms. Kadam appeared for the exam and secured an all-India rank of 22576. On the basis of this score, she sought admission under the 85% State quota for either MBBS or BDS.
But a clause in the information brochure for admission to health science courses in State-run, private and minority colleges disqualified her from doing so. As she had secured the BAMS seat the previous year, she became ineligible for admission to another course for the next two years.
Ms. Kadam had sought that the court declare the clause unconstitutional.
On July 7, the High Court denied her relief. She then moved the Supreme Court, which directed the HC to decide the case on merit expeditiously. After getting a court order, the Government Ayurvedic College of Nanded cancelled her admission and returned her documents.
The High Court said that not considering Ms. Kadam for admission on the basis of one clause in the brochure had created an unreasonable restriction on her fundamental right to opportunity. The court said the clause was not applicable to her, and as she is eligible under NEET-UG and wants to secure an MBBS seat, she be allowed to do so.