The Supreme Court on October 9 upheld the decision of a Rajasthan High Court bench, which had ruled that private medical colleges are not obligated to keep seats for NRI students and said that if it totally up to the management to decide. The apex court ruled that if the management decides not to earmark seats for NRI students it must issue a notice to the aspirants about the same. This comes after students, including those seeking admission through NRI quota challenged the Rajasthan High Court decision.
The case was heard by a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, who referred to a 2005 decision in P.A Inamdar vs the State of Maharashtra case before pronouncing their verdict. In the 2005 case, the Supreme Court had ruled that reservation policy cannot be enforced on private institutions as it will violate their right to autonomy. The top court said that private institutions have full discretion to decide on NRI quota or for that matter on any permissible quota.
The Rajasthan High Court bench had earlier set aside a decision by a single judge, who based on findings ruled that the deletion of NRI quota by private medical colleges was "unsustainable in law". Students who were unsatisfied with the Rajasthan High Court verdict appealed in the top court. The NEET PG exam was held in January this year and he original notice regarding admissions had mentioned that verification of documents of NRI applicants will take place on March 30. But the verification process was later postponed to April due to COVID-19. However, in April when the Rajasthan NEET PG Counselling Board published the seat matrix, it showed zero seats for NRI students.
(With inputs from PTI)