At, High Court of Rajasthan Jaipur Bench
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MOHAMMAD RAFIQ & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE NARENDRA SINGH DHADDHA
For the Appellant: Sandeep Singh Shekhawat, Advocate. For the Respondents: Mahendra Shah, Vigyan Shah, Akshit Gupta, Kamlesh Sharma, Raja Ram Choudhary, Mukesh Agarwal, Harshal Tholia, Advocates on behalf of Dr. Vibhuti Bhushan Sharma, AAG.
Mohammad Rafiq. J,
This appeal has been preferred by Vanya Agrawal assailing judgment dated 04.07.2019 passed by the learned Single Judge of this Court whereby writ petition filed by her has been dismissed. The appellant in the writ petition had prayed for direction to the respondents to draw a separate merit list of Non- Resident Indians (for short ‘NRIs’) by giving preference to the actual Non-Resident Indians over the NRI sponsored candidates. Further prayer was made to direct the respondents to amend order dated 29.04.2019 in consonance with the Notification dated 15.06.2018.
Mr. Sandeep Singh Shekhawat, learned counsel for the appellant relied before this Court upon Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court in
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P.A. Inamdar & Others Vs. State of Maharashtra & Others, (2005) 6 SCC 537, especially the observations made in para 131 of the Report. Learned counsel argued that it has been held in the aforesaid judgment that priority for admission to MBBS Course in the NRI quota should be given to the children of bona fide NRIs, who themselves were NRIs as the purpose was to facilitate integration of children of NRIs studying abroad into the cultural, ethos and society in India. It is argued that appellant’s parents are NRIs, having their abode in Abu Dhabi for last several years. Therefore, the appellant herself is an NRI, who passed her Senior Secondary School Examination from the Abu Dhabi Indian School, affiliated to CBSE. A certificate to this effect has also been issued by the Embassy of Abu Dhabi.
Although the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in P. A. Inamdar & Others (supra) observed that such seats should be utilized by bona fide NRIs only for their children or wards but not much discussion as to the distinction between wards of the NRIs themselves and those sponsored by them has been made therein. In a later judgment in Consortium of Deemed Universities in Karnataka (CODEUNIK) & Another Vs. Union of India & Others, W.P. (c) No. 689/2017 decided on 22.08.2017, the Supreme Court has issued certain directions for filling up NRI quota. The impugned policy of the State is in consonance with those directions, which is reflected from Clause 4(f) of the information booklet issued by the Office of the Chairman, Admission Board 2019. Learned Single Judge, while dismissing the writ petition, has noted that aforesaid Clause 4(f) has not been challenged by the appellant. Moreover, the Supreme Court in Consortium of Deemed Universities in Karnataka (CODEUNIK) & Another (supra) laid down the criterion for availing of the NRI quota for admission into MBBS Course following NEET UG. The said criterion has been verbatim incorporated in the information booklet issued by the Office of the Chairman, Admission Board 2019. Learned Single Judge noted that the operating guidelines in the State of Rajasthan for availing the NRI quota for admission to MBBS do not distinguish between the candidates who are bona fide NRIs themselves, with their parents also so being and wards as defined of bona fide NRIs.
The learned Single Judge, taking into consideration the preference in admission into NRI quota seats being given for NRIs with an ancestral background in the State of Rajasthan, was persuaded to uphold the impugned guidelines. Learned Single Judge held that priority/preference be given to students themselves NRIs along with the parents for admission into MBBS Course in the State. In taking that view, learned Single Judge relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in Consortium of Deemed Universities in Karnataka (CODEUNIK) & Another (supra) and found that criterion for admission in MBBS Course in the colleges of State of Rajasthan was given in that very judgment in information booklet (supra). In the aforesaid criterion, there is no distinction between the students who were NRIs themselves and whose parents have status of NRI on the one hand and the wards of NRI within the defined degree of relationship on the other. The Supreme Court in Consortium of Deemed Universities in Karnataka (CODEUNIK) & Another (supra) reiterated the criterion set out in the case of Anshul Tomar Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh & Others, (2008) 2 MPLJ 450, albeit the year in issue was 2017, directed that criterion set out therein for admission into MBBS in the NRI quota be followed. Even in the cited judgment of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in Asmita Kaur Vs. State of Punjab & Others, (Civil Writ Petition No. 16680 of 2019 decided on 26.06.2019) reference has been made to interim order dated 13.11.2006 passed in Ruchin Bharat Patel Vs. Parents’ Assn. for the M/D Students and Others (Civil Appeal No. 4480 of 2006), in which similar interim order was passed by their Lordships of the Supreme Court. In both the cases in Consortium of Deemed Universities in Karnataka (CODEUNIK) & Another (supra) and Ruchin Bharat Patel (supra), the definition of “NRI” was wider in scope and included the words “NRI/children or wards of NRI.” The Supreme Court while interpreting the scope and meaning of the word “wards” consciously noted in Ruchin Bharat Patel (supra) and observed as under:
“Normally, the admissions to the medical colleges should have been finally concluded before 30th September. This year's admission is long overdue and if this 15% of the students are not allowed to be admitted under NRI quota there may be financial loss to these colleges and the seats shall also go waste. In view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, for this year we are taking a practical view of the situation and we feel that the students to these colleges may be admitted under the following directions and we make it clear that this is exclusively for this year only as a one time arrangement because of the peculiar circumstances of the case:
“1) The students be admitted as NRIs in NRI quota as against 15%: At least one of the parents of such students should be an NRI and shall ordinarily be residing abroad as an NRI;
2) The person who sponsors the student for admission should be a first degree relation of the student and should be ordinarily residing abroad as an NRI;
3) If the student has no parents or near relatives or taken as a ward by some other nearest relative such students also may be considered for admission provided the guardian has bona fide treated the student as a ward and such guardian shall file an affidavit indicating the interest shown in the affairs of the student and also his relationship with the student and such person also should be an NRI, and ordinarily residing abroad.”
Even if these parameters are applied and sufficient number of students are not available for this year as against admission to 15% quota, the colleges would be at liberty to fill up the remaining seats from the State list and if the number of candidates admitted as against 15% quota is very much less and the colleges are unable to raise sufficient funds, they would be at liberty to approach the Committee to restructure the fees.”
Having heard learned counsel for the parties, perused the impugned judgment and material on record as also the cited precedents, we are not persuaded to take a different view than the one expressed by the learned Single Judge. The appeal being devoid of merits is dismissed.
Stay Application No. 10880/2019 also stands dismissed