PANAJI: In a major setback to the BJP led State government, the Bombay high court at Goa has struck down government decision of a cumulative 41% reservations for the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Castes (OBC) in the state quota of post-graduate seats in the Goa Medical and Goa Dental Colleges from the academic year 2021-2022 onwards.
In a notification issued in May 2020, the government sought to implement reservations to the postgraduate courses at the GMC to 41% in favour of STs (12%); SCs (2%) and OBCs (27%) from 2021-2022 academic year.
While setting aside the government’s decision, the Division Bench Justices M S Sonak and M S Jawalkar said that the notification is in contrary to principles laid down by previous Supreme Court judgements.
It also observed that the decision is taken in haste without application of mind and violative of the government’s own rules for admission to postgraduate courses, which specifically mention that admission to postgraduate courses was to be strictly on merit except for relaxation in marks afforded to those belonging to disadvantaged backgrounds.
A group of more than 100 doctors and medical students had approached High Court, challenging the government notification and pleading that the same be set aside, and justice be delivered to the deserving.
“Such a serious decision to reserve 41% of the State quota seats to PG courses at GMC ought to have been preceded by application of mind to a host of relevant considerations referred to in a plethora of decisions of the Supreme Court on the subject as well as the considerations flagged by the dean of GMC. For all these reasons as well, the impugned decision is vitiated and liable to be struck down,” the Court ruled.
The government, defending it’s decision argued that it was in tune with its orders of 2007, when it introduced a 12% reservation for STs in all government-run and aided educational institutions and a similar sounding notification in the year 2014, when it enhanced an already existing reservation for the OBCs from 19.5% to 27%.