Srinagar, June 29: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh directed the Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) to pay compensation of Rs five lakh to a National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) candidate for the loss of one year of his career by denying seat in MDS Course provided for the reserved category of Children of Defence Personal/ Military Forces and State Police Personal (CDP/JKPM).
The court, intending to undo the wrong done to the candidate and give effect to his right to admission, directed the respondents to keep one seat of MDS in the next session in the discipline to which the petitioner was entitled in the instant admissions but was not granted because of fault attributable exclusively to the respondent-BOPEE.
"The BOPEE shall do well to set aforesaid discipline apart and not to make it part of selection or admission of MDS Course 2022," the court directed.
The court of Justice Sanjeev Kumar passed the directions in a plea of Bhat Ab. Urban Bin I Aftab, who had challenged the selection list of NEET- MDS-2021 candidates belonging to UTs of J&K and Ladakh issued by BOPEE on October 03, 2021 on the ground that BOPEE denied the reservation quota in the MDS Course provided for the reserved category of CDP/JKPM.
The petitioner claims to be a candidate belonging to the CDP/JKPM category being next in order of merit to another candidate, DrRasiq Mansoor, who, by the dint of his merit, was placed in the general category.
Perusing the material on record, the court held that when Meritorious Reserved Category Candidate (MRC) goes to occupy a General Category seat, he is not counted against the quota reserved for his category.
He is treated as a General Category candidate and the seat falls vacant and goes to the candidate next in order of merit in his category, the court said.
The bench noted that Section 10 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 and the Rules framed thereunder provide that if a reserved category candidate, by the strength of his merit, gets placed in the Open merit, the resultant seat in the reserved category has to be given to the candidate next in the order of merit in the said category.
"Undisputedly, the petitioner No.1 was the candidate next in order of merit in CDP/JKPM category as the most meritorious candidate in the category had made it to the select list under the Open Merit category," the court recorded.
The court said that the petitioner was thus required to be selected against the one seat reserved for the CDP/JKPM category, which was allocable to his category under Rule 15 of the Rules.
Allowing the plea, the court noted that the petitioner was left out not because of any of his acts or omission but due to the fault attributable exclusively to the BOPEE, which failed to carry out the mandate of Rule 17 of the Rules in its right perspective and deprived a meritorious candidate of his right to seek admission in the PG Course of MDS.
Justice Kumar held the petitioner candidate entitled to admission in the MDS Course in the discipline that was the last leftover after the Open Merit category candidates 20 in number were allotted the seats in various disciplines as per their merit and preference.
"It would be a discipline which, in the instant selection, has been offered to the candidate figuring at serial No.21 of the Open Merit category," the court directed.
However, the court made it clear that it would be not in the fitness of things to grant admission to the petitioner at this point as the cutoff date for admission to the PG courses is a long back. More so, when all the seats notified for admission stand filed up and there is no seat left vacant.