Karnataka NEET PG counselling: HC quashes govt’s decision to reduce seats for in-service doctors

The Karnataka High Court struck down the state government’s notification issued on October 6, 2022 reducing the seats allotted to in-service candidates in the PG-NEET 2022 exam from 30% to 15%.

Government quota is for doctors already serving the government across Karnataka.

The court made this order in a batch of petitions filed by in-service candidates. They had pointed out that another division bench of the court in a related order on October 14, had passed an interim order that “when 30 per cent of the seats were reserved for in-service candidates on 09-01-2022 it appears that there is no justification for reducing the same to 15 percent.” Despite the interim order, the Karnataka examination authority had announced the notification and released the first round of allotment.

“The only explanation offered on behalf of the respondents is that the number of seats is more than the number of candidates. However, the said reason is not clear from the minutes of the meeting dated 29-09- 2022,” the division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said in its judgment on October 21. The respondents in the petitions were the State. of Karnataka, Directorate of Medical Education, Health and Family Welfare Commission and Karnataka Examination Authority”. “The impugned notification dated 06-10-2022 suffers from the defect of non-application of the ment and is arbitrary,” the HC said quashing the notification. The seat matrix dated 09-10-2022 issued by the Director of Medical Education was also quashed.

The HC, however, said that “the state government will be at liberty to prescribe the quota for re-serving candidates, keeping in mind the relevant criteria and filling up the seats.” The HC in its judgment also mentioned what is a relevant criterion for quota. “The relevant criteria are the number of places as well as the number of in-service candidates who have qualified to participate in counselling. In serving candidate must have better choice ratio. For previous year election ratio for serving candidates was better and seat wise election ratio was 1:5 i.e. 1 candidate got choice 1 out of 5 available seats, which has been reduced this year to practically 1:1 ie a candidate has to choose 1 available seat. The quota of in-service candidates has been reduced without assigning any cogent reason and the decision seems to have been taken in a casual and brazen manner.” PTI COR GMS SS

SS

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