The Supreme Court on Tuesday told the Maharashtra government to reshuffle and hold "final" counselling for general candidates who got admission to post-graduate (PG) medical and dental seats on or before June 14.
Earlier, the apex court had struck down the notifications related to EWS quota for the current academic year.
A vacation bench comprising Justice Indu Malhotra and M. R. Shah directed the state government to advertise and give it wide publicity specifying "final round of counselling" and complete the process within the stipulated time period on the basis of merit, and told it not to miss this deadline.
The court also said that preferences made by candidates while filling up the admission forms will remain intact and it cannot be changed during the reshuffling and counselling process.
The court also said: "No application and petition in connection with the admission in PG medical courses in the state, for this current academic year, can be entertained by any other court."
The court asked the state government to consider the plight of the students who have been adversely affected by the implementation of the EWS quota and the manner in which it will impact their career.
The court's order came on pleas filed by some medical students seeking re-drawing of the merit list after a fresh round of counselling.
The students moved the top court after it struck down the EWS quote in PG medical admission for the current academic year.
The court queried the state government counsel to explain the reason for not conducting counselling after re-drawing the merit list.
"You (state) are the author of this problem. It is very improper -- meritorious students cannot be thrown out of the window like this... fresh counselling is mandatory. The state must adopt a fair process", said the court.
The counsel for the authority conducting the test informed the court that re-shuffling of the merit list has been done in accordance with the apex court's order.
Advocate Akash Kakade, the counsel appearing for one of the petitioners, said that no fresh counselling has been conducted so far, as previous rounds of counselling were cancelled.
The Maharashtra government counsel informed the court that, after interim stay on the EWS quota, the merit list of the students has been re-shuffled, but no counselling has been done so far. "How long does the counselling take?....it can be easily done in two days," the court said.
The court appreciated the suggestions made by the counsel of the Medical Council of India (MCI) who recommended manual or physical counselling instead of online counselling, and that an advertisement should be issued on the same.
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