Judgement of the Day-UNITED TRIBALS ASSOCIATIONS ALLIANCE v MR. NAMDEV FATARPEKAR

UNITED TRIBALS ASSOCIATIONS ALLIANCE v MR. NAMDEV FATARPEKAR

IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY AT GOA

LD-VC-CW-43-2020

Facts

In September 2007, the State of Goa extended the benefit of reservation to the Scheduled Tribe

Community (STC) in all educational institutions. The Government has reserved 12% seats for them. The

rule of reservation covers the professional courses, too. Across the country, in the admissions to the

under-graduate medical seats, "15% of the total available seats" are to be filled under the All India

Quota (AIQ). The remaining seats are under the State Quota. For the seats under the State Quota, the

State Government's reservation policy applies. The admissions under AIQ in a particular state must also

fulfill that State’s admission criteria. So, often, most seats under AIQ remain vacant. After the second

counselling, these unfilled seats revert to the State Quota. They are “deemed to be State Quota seats”.

The admissions in the State of Goa must be under the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education,

1997’ (“the Regulations”). These Regulations have been framed under Section 33 of the Indian Medical

Council Act 1956. The Amendment, as the petitioners plead, "clearly provides that AIQ seats remaining

vacant" will be "deemed to be converted into State quota". Besides, the petitioners also complain that

from the total seats, the Schedule Tribe has not been getting its percentage of seats. It is because of the

wrong calculation the State Government has adopted.

Judgment

Since both sides relied upon Article 15 of the Constitution of India in support of their respective

arguments, Court observed- "Any reservation made for Scheduled Tribes in the matter of admission

to medical colleges, such as the one we are concerned with in the present petition, would thus be

protected notwithstanding the rule of discrimination under Article 15.


he Petitioners, according to court, have failed to plead and demonstrate any ground for striking down

Clause 4.37 of the Prospectus, which clearly embodies the policy of the State Government that there

shall be no reservation in respect of the unfilled AIQ seats which may have deemed to have been

converted into the State quota. The court held that the the MCI Regulations do not even remotely deal

with the application of reservation policy to the State quota seats or deemed to be converted into the

State quota seats. Similarly, Clause 4.37 of the Prospectus cannot be said to be ultra vires Part III of the

Constitution as being either unreasonable or arbitrary. This clause merely echoes the principles

explained by the Hon’ble Apex Court in AIIMS Students' Union v/s. AIIMS and others that merit must be

the test when choosing the best, according to this rule of equal chance for equal marks. The Petitioners

have offered statistics of past year about unfilled AIQ seats reverted to the State quota. From this, it was

easily possible for the Petitioners to have assessed, at least by way of approximation, the number of

students from the wait list of the general category who were likely to be admitted as against such

reverted seats.

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