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Allotment curbs only to improvement students: court

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, JUNE 24. The Madras High Court order restraining the medical education selection committee from allotting colleges is applicable only to improvement candidates and not to regular students.

Justice R. Balasubramanian, who yesterday directed that no final allotment be made for any student, today modified his order after the Advocate-General, N.R. Chandran, made out a case for modification to enable the committee to go ahead with counselling and allotting colleges to regular students.

Mr. Justice Balasubramanian said: ``Counselling for all students shall go on. Allotting colleges to those students who have come for counselling on the basis of Plus-Two marks for the first time shall go on. In respect of those who have come for counselling on the basis of marks obtained in the improvement examination, allotment shall be withheld by the government until further orders.''

The judge was passing orders on a batch of writ petitions challenging the system of treating improvement candidates on a par with regular students in medical admissions. Posting the matter to June 28, he also directed that the petitioners implead one of the improvement students in the case. The modification was necessitated by the Advocate-General's submission that any order against the improvement candidates would affect their legitimate expectations. Referring to a Division Bench order on petitions, filed in 2002 when the improvement examination system was made more rigorous, Mr. Chandran pointed out that the interests of the earlier year students were protected by invoking the principle of legitimate expectation.

Similarly, the improvement candidates wrote the public examination this year based on rules in the prospectus. ``We cannot go back on the prospectus, which gave a legitimate expectation to those candidates.''

Mr. Chandran also argued that a student, who wrote the examination without challenging any provision in the prospectus, could not challenge it after the merit list was released. ``The regulation pertaining to the improvement marks was explained in detail in the prospectus. We cannot go back on the promise now.''

Noting that affected students had not been made parties to the case, Mr. Chandran said only about 23 per cent of the total applications received this year came from improvement candidates. The petitioners contended that about 800 out of the total 1,400 medical seats were cornered by the improvement candidates.

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