HC upholds order on MDS seat for reserved category candidate

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: A division bench of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh has dismissed an appeal filed by J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) against its single bench’s last year order reserving one seat of MDS in the current session for a candidate who could not get the same in 2021 “because of fault attributable exclusively to the BOPEE”.

Some aggrieved candidates had challenged the selection list of NEET-MDS-2021 belonging to J&K and Ladakh, issued by the BOPEE on October 3 2021, to the extent it denied the reservation quota in the MDS Course provided for the reserved category of Children of Defence Personal and Military Forces and State Police Personal (CDP/JKPM). One of the aggrieved candidates, Dr Bhat Ab Ubran Bin Aftab, had claimed to be a candidate belonging to CDP/JKPM category, being next in the order of merit to one Dr Rasiq Mansoor, who, by the dint of his merit, was placed in the general category.

Dr Bhat had submitted that while he figured at serial number 52 in the overall merit, he would be at serial number 2 in the category of CDP/JKPM, next only to Dr Rasiq Mansoor.

He submitted that while Dr Rasiq was in the selection zone in the general category figuring at serial no.5, the BOPEE did not give 2% reservation earmarked for CDP/JKPM Category.

He further submitted that while no candidate from CDP/JKPM Category was selected, the mandate of reservation provided under the J&K Reservation Act, 2004 and Rules were “violated”.

The Single bench upheld the argument but since the selection had been completed by the time the verdict was pronounced, it directed the BOPEE to reserve one seat for next session (this season).

The BOPEE challenged it on many grounds and a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal rejected the appeal.

“The principle underlying the provision of Section 10 is manifestly clear that the benefit of reservation must reach to the deserving candidate in the category and is not eaten away or affected by a candidate of reserved category, who on the strength of his merit, has equal or better merit than the merit of the candidate last admitted in the professional course in the general category,” the division bench said, adding, “The 2nd contention of learned Advocate General that the Court cannot pass any order cancelling the admission given to a candidate, who is at the bottom of the merit without arraying the said person as a party respondent, is also not tenable in the eyes of law as there is no such direction which has been issued by the learned Single Judge, which will be violative of the law laid down by Hon’ble The Supreme in case titled S. Krishna Sradha v, State of Andhra Pradesh and Others, as projected by the learned Advocate General.” Dr Bhat was represented by senior advocate Faisal Qadri.

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