In a setback for the Tamil Nadu government, the National Medical Commission (NMC) on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that it will not be possible to provide additional seats for students under a 7.5% reservation category in 24 government medical colleges in the state. In October, the Tamil Nadu government had issued a government order allowing 7.5% horizontal reservation for government school students who had cleared the medical entrance examination National Entrance and Eligibility Test (NEET) for admissions into medical courses.
The NMC added that there was no scope for it since it requires the sanction of the Supreme Court. Counsel for NMC, VP Raman, informed the court that the Supreme Court has consistently held that High Courts cannot order for creation of additional seats in government medical colleges.
A batch of petitions were moved by candidates who were allocated seats in self-financing medical colleges under the 7.5% quota. The students said that they were put on a waiting list since they were not able to afford the fees. The petitioners had reportedly stated that had the announcement for quota come a day earlier, they would not have been put on the waiting list.
According to reports, Advocate-General Vijay Narayan informed the court that a total of 11 MBBS seats and 15 DBS seats have been reverted to the state quota from the ‘All-India’ quota, allowing admissions for 26 students in Tamil Nadu. In his reply, senior advocate P Wilson contended that priority must be given to students who have been put under waiting list.
After hearing the submissions, Justice Anand Venkatesh refused to pass any order on the creation of additional seats for the waitlisted candidates on the grounds that it would be unfair to students should any apex court reverse the order. He then directed the state to conduct separate counselling for waitlisted students after the second session of regular counselling.