Response sought on inclusion of children of serving defence personnel


Madurai

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Friday sought responses from the Centre and the State in a batch of cases pertaining to the inclusion of the children of serving defence personnel under the reservation category for admission to MBBS/ BDS courses for the current academic year.

The court was informed that as per an order passed by the Ministry of Defence, reservation for wards of armed forces personnel for admission is prioritised under nine categories. This includes widows/wards of defence personnel killed in action, disabled in action, died while in service, disability attributable to military service, receipt of gallantry awards, wards of ex-servicemen, wives of disabled defence personnel or ex-servicemen, wards of serving personnel and wives of serving personnel.

Additional Advocate General K. Chellapandian submitted that a total of 10 seats for MBBS and one seat for BDS were reserved for the children of ex-servicemen for the present academic year. The number of seats was increased from six to 11 and there was no provision to include the children of serving defence personnel.

Taking cognisance of the submission, a Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and B. Pugalendhi observed that the benefit had to be extended to the children of serving defence personnel as well and they cannot be excluded.

The court asked the Centre and the State to respond to a series of queries that included the number of seats made available for the children of ex-servicemen in the past five years and the category wise break-up of seat allotment.

When the number of medical seats and the number of medical colleges in the State had increased, why not include more seats for the children of ex-servicemen and extend the benefit to the children of serving defence personnel, the court asked. The court sought clarity on the priority categories. The hearing was adjourned to November 19.

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