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HC directs BOPEE to admit petitioner for MDS Course 2022 with compensation of 5 lacs
6/28/2022 9:55:14 PM

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, June 28: The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court directed BOPEE to admit the petitioner for MDS course 2022 with compensation Rs 5 lacs. The petitioners are aggrieved of and have challenged the selection list of NEET-MDS-2021candidates belonging to UTs of J&K and Ladakh, issued by the Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) vide notification No. 100-BOPEE of 2021 dated 3-10-2021 ["the impugned select list"] to the extent it denies the reservation quota in the MDS Course provided for the reserved category of Children of Defence Personal/ Military Forces and State Police Personal.
Petitioner number 1 claims to be a candidate belonging to CDP/JKPM category being next in order of merit to Dr. Rasiq Mansoor, who, by the dint of his merit, is placed in the general category. Petitioners 2, 3 and 4 are candidates belonging to RBA category. As is stated by learned counsel for the petitioners, petitioner 2, 3 and 4 are allocated the disciplines and have got admission or have otherwise lost interest to pursue this petition.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar after hearing both the sides observed that there is no substantial change insofar as essential part of Rule 17 is concerned. From reading of Rule 17, it is abundantly clear that a reserved category candidate, if selected against Open Merit seat (also known as MRC), is entitled to be considered for allotment of discipline/stream/college allocable to him in his respective category on the basis of his merit cum preference.
The left over discipline/stream/college in the open merit category shall be allotted to the reserved category candidate, who gets selected consequent upon MRC getting selected in open merit. The explanation appended to Rule 17 explains the term 'leftover discipline/stream/College' and it means such number of discipline/stream/colleges that would become available after allotment of seat to the last open merit candidate as allocable under rules.
Justice Kumar observed that in the instant case, Dr. Rasiq had given only one choice in so far as the discipline of MDS is concerned. He was allotted the aforesaid discipline as per his merit/preference. He got the discipline of Orthodontics & dento-facial orthopaedics by making his choice as a CDP/JKPM category candidate, though selected in Open Merit. The movement of Dr. Rasiq from open merit to the category of CDP/JKPM for the purposes of making the choice of discipline resulted in one discipline of MDS available in the open merit. The leftover discipline in the instant case, therefore, would be the discipline that would remain available after all the candidates selected in Open Merit are admitted on the basis of their merit/preference.
As is evident from the record, there were total number of 21 seats allocable to the open merit in both the dental colleges of J&K and the 21 candidates selected in the order of merit included Dr. Rasiq who was figuring at serial 5 of the merit list. He, as explained above, was entitled to make the choice of discipline asserting his status as reserved category candidate. He did so and got admitted to MDS Orthodontics & dento-facial orthopaedics.
Justice Kumar while allowing the petition held that the petitioner 1 is held entitled to admission in the MDS course in the discipline that was last leftover after the open merit category candidates 20 in number were allotted the seats in various disciplines as per their merit and preference. It would be discipline which, in the instant selection, has been offered to the candidate figuring at serial No.21 of the Open Merit category.
The Court observed that since the cut-off date for admission to the PG courses is a long back over, it would, therefore, be not in the fitness of things to grant admission to the petitioner 1 at this point of time. More so, when all the seats notified for admission stand filed up and there is no seat left vacant.
The court directed the BOPEE to do well to set aforesaid discipline apart and not to make it part of selection or admission of MDS Course 2022. The court further held that the petitioner is also entitled to a compensation of five lakhs to be paid by the respondent-BOPEE to compensate the petitioner 1 for the loss of one year of his career.
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