Delhi High Court has directed the Union Health Ministry to decide before the next academic session whether there can be reservation for defence category in undergraduate medical courses in colleges under the Centre as recommended by the Home Ministry.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take a decision 'expeditiously' on Ministry of Home Affairs' recommendation, so that if reservation is allowed, it can be implemented from the next academic session.
'Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shall consider the recommendations of the Ministry of Home and take a decision thereon expeditiously so that if they decide to have reservation for defence personnel, the same can be implemented at least for the next academic session,' the court said.
The court passed the order as it dismissed a plea alleging there was no reservation for defence category in MBBS and BDS courses, despite there being a uniform reservation policy of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The petitioner, Noor Dhaliwal, had challenged Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University's (GGSIU) action in not implementing the reservation policy applicable under defence category in Vardhman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC) and Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi.
The Health Ministry had contended before the court that introduction of five per cent quota in the two colleges would require consultations with the ministries of Human Resource and Development (HRD) and Law, and hence reservation cannot be introduced for the current academic year as the admission process has to be closed by September 30.
The court observed that there cannot be automatic reservation for defence category till the Health Ministry took a decision which would take time due to the consultations to be held with other arms of the government.
It also said the Health Ministry cannot be faulted for not having the reservation as MHA's recommendation came only in July this year and some reasonable amount of time would be required to arrive at a decision.
While dismissing the plea, the court also vacated its order directing the university to defer counselling for the five per cent quota for defence category.