In a significant order, the Supreme Court Wednesday said the Post Graduate medical seats in Christian Medical College Vellore for academic session 2022-2023 would be filled from the minority merit list prepared by the Tamil Nadu government.
A bench of Justices L Nagewara Rao and B R Gavai found force in the vehement submissions of Additional Advocate General Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for the state government, that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Regulations clearly stipulate that admissions to the medical courses, both MBBS and the PG, have to be done from the NEET merit list.
During the hearing, senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the minority institution, argued against the communication of Tamil Nadu seeking seat sharing at 50-50 ratio from two lists prepared by the state government and the institution respectively for the admissions in the PG courses.
The institution not only argued that seat sharing methodology, as communicated by the state government, be disallowed, but also sought approval for its own method of selecting students in which the students from over 23 zonal regions are admitted from lists sent by various “Protestant Churches/ Christian organisations”.
Divan said even after NEET came into force, the institution has been admitting students who have qualified in a transparent method.
He also submitted that the top one and two students are selected from each list from such regional zones and they are selected after counselling and hence, the method of selection is merit-based.
Tiwari opposed the plea saying that the NEET Regulations provided that admissions have to be conducted as per the merit list prepared by the government authorities.
Referring to the judgment, the counsel for Tamil Nadu said that the states are required to maintain a merit list of minority students.
He also demonstrated from the list of the admitted students that several of them were given the admissions in the institution after ignoring and bypassing the students who were higher in the minority merit list prepared by the state.
The CMC, in its plea, has also sought an interim relief that it be allowed to continue with the old method of selection as was being done for the last three years for the PG admissions in the current year.
The apex court refused to grant the relief and directed that the entire 100 per cent PG seats for academic session 2022-2023 are to be filled through the minority merit list prepared by Tamil Nadu.