The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Thursday set aside the Maharashtra state government’s decision to enforce the 16 percent reservation for the Maratha community under the socially and economically backward classes (SEBC) category for post-graduate medical courses from this year. The court was of the view that the reservation applied to the admissions in post-graduate medical courses is arbitrary since it came into effect after the admission process had already begun.
The 16 percent reservation of seats in government and private educational institutions for Maratha under the SEBC category came into force from November 30, 2018. This March, the state government issued a notification making the reservation applicable from the current academic year itself. However, several bachelor of medicine graduates filed petitions against its applicability in the current year saying the admission process for the 2019 PG medical courses had started on 16 October, 2018, before the Maharashtra State Reservation for the socially and educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 came into force. The petitioners said the notification had affected the ongoing admission process.
The petition was heard by Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Pushpa Ganediwala who also set aside the 27th March seat matrix saying it took into account the reservation introduced mid-way for SEBC disregarding the rule. The bench directed the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to conduct the entire selection process afresh as per norms. The reservation will however be applicable to other courses where the admission process started after reservation was declared.
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