The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday stopped declaration of first select list to fill Post-Graduate (PG) seats of Dental Courses after three candidates challenged the distribution of seats among various caste categories. The High Court, while hearing the petitions filed by aspirant students, directed the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) not to declare list of Master of Dental Surgery (MDS).
The interim order could set a precedent and further defer an already-delayed admission process. The court will now hear the matter on Wednesday.
A division bench consisting of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Pushpa Ganediwala was hearing the petition filed by dental course aspirants Shivani Raghuvanshi, Pranali Charde and Sanjana Wadewale, who had argued that the state government used different methods to reserve seats for socially and educationally backward castes (SEBC) or Marathas and other reserved categories in private colleges. They also contended that the SEBC quota couldn’t be applied to dental admissions as the admission process had begun before the state introduced the Maratha quota.
With no provision for caste-based reservation in institutional and NRI quota seats (which are allotted at the institute’s discretion) in private colleges, all the seats for the new Maratha quota have been drawn from the remaining 50% merit seats. The quotas for scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), other backward castes (OBC), vimukta jatis (VJ), nomadic tribes (NT) and economically weaker section (EWS) have also been calculated on 50% merit seats.
The petitioner claimed that the law providing 16 per cent reservation in public, private aided and unaided educational institutions came into force from November 30, 2018 while the admission process had started on October 16, 2018. The first list was to be declared on April 5.