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Kerala HC Stays Decision Of ESI Corporation To Cancel 'The Wards of Insured Persons Quota' In Medical/Dental Colleges [Read Order]

Sparsh Upadhyay
18 Oct 2020 3:41 PM GMT
Kerala HC Stays Decision Of ESI Corporation To Cancel The Wards of Insured Persons Quota In Medical/Dental Colleges [Read Order]
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The Kerala High Court on Thursday (15th October) stayed further proceedings pursuant to the notice issued by Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) informing that seats filled up in previous years under IP quota in ESIC Medical/Dental colleges would be filled up by DGHS, Government of India as All-India quota seats for 2020-21.

The Bench of Justice N. Nagaresh also stayed the decision taken by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to cancel the IP Quota.

The Court specifically observed,

"There will be an interim stay on all further proceedings pursuant to Exts.P1 and P2. It is made clear that the respondents may bring up this writ petition in the case the Division Bench of the Hon'ble High Court of Madras gives any clarification/passes any order in this regard."

It may be noted that, Exhibit P1 (in the Writ Petition before the Court) was the Notice issued by Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) informing that seats filled up in previous years under IP quota in ESIC Medical/Dental colleges would be filled up by DGHS, Government of India as All-India quota seats for 2020-21)

On the other hand, Exhibit P2 (in the Writ Petition before the Court) was the decision taken by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).to cancel the IP Quota

The Case of the Petitioner

The petitioners in the present matter approached the Kerala HC, who were applicants for Wards of Insured Persons (IP) Quota seats in ESIC Medical/Dental colleges Employees State Insurance Corporation for academic session 2020-21 and were aggrieved by the notice dated 28.09.2020 issued by the 1st respondent informing that seats filled up in previous years under IP quota in ESIC Medical/Dental colleges would be filled up by DGHS, Government of India as All-India quota seats for 2020-21 (Exhibit P1).

Thereafter, vide notice dated 30.09.2020, it was further informed that the decision to cancel IP Quota (Exhibit P2), was taken in view of the common order dated 07.06.2019 of the High Court of Madras in W.P 35853/2016 and 17948/2017 and the Judgement dated 06.08.2019 in W.A No.2274/2019 and 2304/2019 and also the order dated 15.07.2019 of the Apex Court of India in S.L.P (C) Diary No's 24032/2019.

It was submitted by the Petitioners that none of the above-referred orders of the High Court or Supreme Court enables the 1st respondent to cancel or abolish the IP Quota in ESIC Medical/ Dental colleges.

Notably, the judgment of the learned single judge of the Madras High Court in WP.35853/2016 and 17948/2017 declared that the reservation policy of ESIC providing 20% reservation to the Wards of Insured Persons as unconstitutional and illegal
(Judgment dated 07.06.2019)
.

Further, the Division Bench of the High Court on 06.08.2019, disposed of the writ appeal preferred by the Director-General of ESIC recording the undertaking of the Additional Solicitor General of India that the ESIC shall immediately undertake the admission process in accordance with the relevant rules provided by the reservation of 20% of seats to the Wards of Insured Persons in the medical colleges established by the ESIC.

Advocate C Unnikrishnan argued that the Judgment in Writ Appeal (dated 06.08.2019) had become final since the same has not been challenged before the Apex Court nor it is being reviewed by the Hon'ble Madras High Court thus the order of the single bench of Madras HC (07.06.2019/declaring the reservation policy of ESIC providing 20% reservation to the Wards of Insured Persons as unconstitutional and illegal)
is not in existence as of now since the same is merged with the Judgment of the learned Division Bench (in Writ Appeal).

Therefore, it was argued that the legal position as of now was that none of the judgment and orders referred to by the 1st respondent in Exhibit P2 has any impact on the decision taken to cancel/abolish IP Quota as per Exhibit P1 notice.

It was specifically submitted by the Petitioners that Exhibit P1 and P2 are liable to be quashed. For the sake of repetition, both are explained herein:-

Exhibit P1 - Notice issued by Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) informing that seats filled up in previous years under IP quota in ESIC Medical/Dental colleges would be filled up by DGHS, Government of India as All-India quota seats for 2020-21)

Exhibit P2 - Decision was taken by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to cancel the IP Quota

Grounds pleaded

It was also pleaded before the Court that since no reason was stated in Exhibit P1 to cancel or abolish IP Quota in ESIC Dental/Medical college, the order is cryptic and non-speaking coupled with the fact that Exhibit P2 notice issued in continuation with Exhibit P1 notice is also not supporting the decision informed in Exhibit P1. Therefore, on that ground also Exhibit P1 is liable to be quashed.

Importantly, it was submitted that the allotment of seats to ESIC management quota is only to the Wards of the Insured Persons and thus it was only extending the benefit to the economically weaker sections of the Wards of Insured Persons by who's funds the educational institutions were running thus its policy were not discriminatory and violative of any provisions of law and had introduced this policy after the approval of the government.

Therefore the 1st respondent (Employees State Insurance Corporation) cannot casually abolish the medical seats under IP quota to his whims and fancies because the beneficiaries of that scheme are the downtrodden working class and the ESI medical institutions were established with the funds of these employees.

It was submitted that the action of the 1st respondent in the scrapping of the 20% reservation policy for the wards of the insured without any reasoning and basis is arbitrary, illegal and irregular.

It was most humbly prayed that the High Court may be pleased to:-

A. Call for the records relating to the Exhibit P1 and P2 impugned notice and issue a writ of Certiorari or other appropriate writs, order or direction quashing Exts.P1 & P2.

B. Declare that Exts.P1 & P2 are illegal, cryptic and non-speaking and cannot be allowed to stand in the eye of law.

C. Issue a writ of Mandamus or other appropriate writs, order or direction commanding the respondents to allot Medical /Dental UG seats to the petitioners in the 20% seats of Wards of Insured person quota on the basis of their merit in the NEET ranked list2020.

As an Interim Relief it was prayed that the Court stay all further proceedings pursuant to Exhibit P1 and P2 forthwith, pending disposal of the Writ Petition.

High Court's Order

In the context of the Judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court of Madras (Dated 06.08.2019), the Counsel for the petitioner submitted that 20% reservation for the Wards of the Insured Persons should continue.

The learned Standing Counsel for ESI Corporation, on the other hand, submitted that Ext. P5 (Dated 06.08.2019) should be treated as confining to the year 2019 admissions only the Single Bench Judgment of the Madras HC (Dated 07.06.2019) was in operation.

The Court observed,

"The Division Bench of the High Court of Madras (Dated 06.08.2019) decided the issue involved in the Writ Appeal based on the submission made by ESI Corporation through the Additional Solicitor General of India. Prima facie, what is stated in Ext.P5 (Dated 06.08.2019) cannot be treated as for the academic year 2019 alone."

The learned Standing Counsel further submitted that a clarification petition had been filed by the ESI Corporation in the said Writ Appeal and orders are awaited.

In the facts of the case, the Court said,

"It is of the opinion that if an interim order is not passed, the reservation benefits due to the Wards of Insured Persons which were in existence hitherto, will be denied. In the circumstances, there will be an interim stay on all further proceedings pursuant to Exts.P1 and P2. It is made clear that the respondents may bring up this writ petition in case the Division Bench of the High Court of Madras gives any clarification/passes any order in this regard." (emphasis supplied)

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]




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