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Madras High Court Asks the State To Reconsider Number of Seats Allotted for Bcm Category

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Mr. Shakkiya filed a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution to issue a Writ of Mandamus. The petition sought to direct the Respondents to provide one seat to the Backward Class Muslims in Karaikal region for admission into the 1st-year MBBS course for 2020-2021 in the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry. The matter was heard and decided upon by Hon’ble Justice B. Pugalhendi.

Facts of the case

The available seats for admission in the 1st year M.B.B.S. course in the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute had been allotted to all regions on the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC). Out of a total of 142 seats, 106 seats (75%) were allotted to Puducherry region, 26 seats (18%) were allotted to Karaikal region; 4 seats (3%) were allocated to Yanam region and six seats (4%), to the Mahe region. Among these vertical reservations, Backward Class-Muslim (BCM) candidates were eligible for 2% quota in the Puducherry, Karaikal and Yanam regions and 10% quota in the Mahe region. The seats were usually allotted accordingly. However, in this year’s allotment, not a single seat was allotted to the Karaikal region’s BCM category.

Arguments before the Court

The Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that in the 4% reservation for the Mahe region, one seat among the six seats was allotted for BCM category, whereas, even though 18% (26 seats) of seats were reserved for the Karaikal region, no seat was allotted for BCM category. He further submitted that the Karaikal region had more Muslim populations, but the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC) did not allocate adequate seats for the said category.

The Counsel further argued that there were unfilled vacancies among the other categories reserved for the Karaikal region. Therefore, on the available vacancies from the other categories, some representation could be provided for the BCM category of Karaikal region. He further maintained that the Petitioner had made several representations in this regard. This issue has also been addressed by the Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Puducherry, through a letter, dated 02.12.2020.

The counsel for the Union Territory of Puducherry & Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC) submitted that the allotment of seats was made based on the Government’s decision for reservation. The seat matrix was arranged as per the guidelines, and the Karaikal region was allotted with 18% of seats, i.e., 26 seats for the 1st year M.B.B.S. course admission. The Counsel further maintained that among the 26 seats, the 2% reservation for BCM category works out to 0.52, which is less than one and therefore, one seat is provided to BCM category in alternative academic years.

For the Economically Backward Class (EBC) category, the very same yardstick was followed, since the 2% reservation for EBC category also works out to be less than one. Therefore, one seat was allotted in alternative years for EBC and BCM categories.

Court’s Observations

The Court observed that the students from Backward Class-Muslim (BCM) category was not given adequate representation by the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC). By providing seats in alternative years, the Petitioner’s chances were deprived. 

The Court also noted the letter by Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Puducherry Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Puducherry in this regard. 

Court’s Order

The Court directed the Union Territory of Puducherry, Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC), and The National Medical Commission to consider the representation of the Petitioner dated 30.12.2020, on merits and if any seat remained vacant in any other category in the Karaikal region, the case of the Petitioner might also be considered or found eligible. It was also open to the Union Territory of Puducherry to reconsider the number of seats allotted to the BCM category, in future, in consultation with the State Level Commission for Backward Class (SLCBC). 

The Court disposed of the petition consequently.

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