New Delhi: The Supreme Court asked six states to reply to the allegations that they were usurping the PG medical seats for the all-India quota by not disclosing the vacant seats in their medical colleges.
A vacation bench of justices H L Gokhale and Ranjana Prakash Desai issued notices to Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on a petition by a girl medico Esha Karwase.
Senior counsel Indu Malhotra appearing for the petitioner submitted that if the states failed to disclose the vacancy situation, it would "affect the interests of hundreds of medical students" across the country.
All PG seats in medicine in all states except, Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh are divided into two categories - all India quota seats and the state quota seats.
While the all-India quota seats are unreserved and are alloted only on the basis of merit in the all-India entrance examination for MD/MS/PG Diplomat and MDS courses conducted by the AIIMS, the state quota seats are alloted on the basis of the common entrance exam at the local level in which only domiciled students can appear.
The all-India quota seats are filled by three rounds of counselling which are conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services, New Delhi, while the 2nd round of counselling is conducted only after the first round of counselling for all the states is over, the petitioner said.
Similarly, the 3rd round of counselling ought to be conducted only after the 2nd round of counselling in the state is over, the petition added.
This is done to ensure that the entire all-India quota is filled up. It so happens that all students appearing for the all-India quota also invariably appear in the state entrance examinations of their respective domicile and thus they vacate their all India quota seat if they get a better seat in the state Quota, the petitioner explained.
However, the petitioner alleged that this year too, like earlier years some states, with a malafide intention, did not complete their 2nd round of counselling so that the vacant all India quota seats get added to the state quota by default. Under the rules if the All India quota is not filled it would revert to the respective state.
"This illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary act of the states has resulted in the meritorious candidates like the petitioner to suffer and has dissipated the objective of resorting to the online counselling process whereby it was intended that the said process would ensure better utilisation of the All India quota" and minimise the wastage of the seats, the petition stated.
Hence the petitioner urged the apex court to direct the states to disclose the vacant seats and the CGHS to conduct the fourth round of extended counselling to fill up the seats.