Delhi High Court terms AIIMS’ admission criteria as ‘arbitrary, irrational’
The Delhi High Court today termed as “arbitrary and irrational” a clause in the AIIMS prospectus due to which a candidate was denied admission in its Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) course despite a higher-ranked candidate opting out of the institute.
The court said that AIIMS should not have carried forward the vacant seat to the next academic session and asked it to give admission to a student, who had secured sixth rank in the test, after the higher-ranking selected candidate did not take admission.
The institute had five seats in the MDS course for general category students in the current academic session.
“We therefore find the clause aforesaid in the prospectus of AIIMS, to be arbitrary and irrational and set aside/quash the same and axiomatically direct the respondent AIIMS, subject to the petitioner satisfying other criteria, to admit the petitioner who admittedly is next rank holder to the said course,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.
Justice Endlaw, writing the judgement, however, clarified that in future, it would be open for AIIMS to prescribe that the admission will not be granted to a student, who is below a particular rank, even if the seats are available.
The court’s decision came on the plea of Dinesh Kumar Chopra, a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from a college here, that he had secured sixth rank in the examination held in July this year for five general seats in MDS course and could not get the admission despite a student Devashish, ranked fourth, not taking the admission and joining some other institute, leaving one seat vacant.
Instead of admitting Chopra, the AIIMS took refuge of the clause in the prospectus and carried forward the seat to next session.
The premier institute had said the rule provides that the vacant seat would be notified in the next session as it cannot compromise with the talent.
The clause in the prospectus read, “The candidates who opt confirmed PG seats in the 1st counselling or 2nd counselling or joined in July 2012 session and leave the PG seat, the same will be notified in the next session.”
“A lower ranker will get unfair advantage and meritorious student will be disadvantaged as he/she can not participate in open selection as per terms of prospectus. To prevent such a scenario, the provision of not including vacated seat in open selection has been included in the prospectus,” the institute had said.
“The counsel for AIIMS is unable to satisfy us as to how the action of a candidate ahead in rank of first opting for admission and then relinquishing the same can change the fate of a candidate having a lower rank,” the court said.
The prospectus did not provide that admission will not be given beyond a certain rank, if the admission were to devolve till there, it said.
“Thus, technically it is possible that a candidate having rank, say 20, is admitted if all the rank holders ahead of him / her do not avail of admission in first and second round of counselling.
“If the petitioner despite his lower rank was entitled to admission, had the candidate ahead of him not opted for a confirmed seat in the second round of counselling, we fail to see as to how his lower rank can come in the way of his admission if the candidate ahead of him has relinquished the admission after having confirmed the same,” it said.