Bengaluru: Providing relief to the In-service Postgraduate medical aspirants across the State, the High Court of Karnataka has now quashed the State Government notification dated October 06, 2022, which had reduced the In-service quota PG medical seats from 30 per cent to 15 per cent.

Along with the Government notification, the HC Division bench has also quashed the seat matrix issued by the Director of Medical Education on 09.10.2022, adds PTI.

However, the HC has also said that the “State Government shall be at liberty to prescribe the quota for in-service candidates afresh while taking into account relevant criteria and fill up the seats.”

Further, the HC in its judgement also mentioned what is a relevant criteria for the quota. As per the court order, the relevant criteria is the number of seats as well as the number of in-service candidates who have qualified to participate in the counselling.

The in-service candidate needs to have a better ratio of choice. For the preceding year, the ratio of choice for in-service candidates was better and the ratio of choice in respect of seats was 1:5 i.e, 1 candidate had the option of choosing 1 out of 5 available seats, which has been reduced to this year to virtually 1:1 i.e, a candidate has to choose 1 seat which is available.

Therefore, the court noted that the quota for in-service candidates has been reduced without assigning any cogent reasons and the decision appears to have been taken in a casual and cavalier manner.

The court made this order in a batch of petitions filed by in-service candidates. The respondents in the petitions were the State of Karnataka, the Directorate of Medical Education, Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare and the Karnataka Examination Authority.

Also Read: KEA stays NEET PG Counselling after In-service doctors reach HC seeking more seats

Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the In-service PG medical aspirants had approached the HC seeking an increase in the number of reserved seats. While considering the matter, the HC bench had passed an interim order and stayed the NEET PG Counselling process in Karnataka. As a result, Karnataka Examinations Authority had stopped the counselling process.

Referring to the previous order, the doctors in their plea pointed out that another division bench of the court in a related order on October 14, had passed an interim order that “when 30 per cent of seats were reserved for in-service candidates on 09-01-2022 there appears to be no justification for reducing the same to 15 per cent.”

Despite the interim order the Karnataka Examination Authority had announced the notification and published the first round of allotment.

“The only explanation offered on behalf of respondents is that the numbers of seats are more than the number of candidates. However, the aforesaid reason is not forthcoming from the minutes of the meeting dated 29-09-2022,” the division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said in their judgement on October 21.

“The impugned notification dated 06-10-2022 suffers from the vice of non-application of mind and is arbitrary,” the HC said, quashing the notification.

Also Read: NEET PG Admissions in Karnataka: KEA releases Round 1 allotment results

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