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AHMEDABAD MUNICIPAL CORPORATION & ANR. Versus NILAYBHAI R. THAKORE & ANR.

1999 (10) TMI 739 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

C.A. 5989 of 1999 - Dated:- 13-10-1999 - KHARE, V.N., AND HEGDE, N. SANTOSH, JJ. JUDGMENT SANTOSH HEGDE, J. - Leave granted 2. Heard learned counsel for the parties 3. Before the High Court of Gujarat, the respondents herein challenged the constitutional validity of Rule 6(i) and Rule 7 of the Rules for Admission to Smt. N. H. L. Municipal Medical College on the ground that the said rules which define "the local students" are unreasonable, illegal, illogical, irrational and violative o .....

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tudents. The cause for filing the said writ petition was that Rules 6 and 7 of the said rules prevented the students who are residents of Ahmedabad city but who had acquired their qualification for admission from the educational institutions situated within AUDA from being treated as "local students" 4. The respondents in their counter-affidavit in the writ petition had contended that the Medical College in question was managed and administered by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation an .....

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ithin the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation was a reasonable rule inasmuch as the Municipal Corporation which manages the Medical College was responsible for providing medical education to the said students 5. The High Court of Gujarat vide its judgment dated 12-5-1999 allowed the said writ petition following the judgments of this Court in the cases of Mohan Bir Singh Chawla v. Punjab University ( 1997 (2) SCC 171 ), P. Rajendran v. State of Madras 1968 AIR(SC) 1012 ), Pradeep Jain (Dr) v. Union o .....

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e Medical College. Such a classification on the basis of attending the school or college within and outside the corporation limits is not a reasonable classification in the context of admission to the Medical College. It further held that the classification is not on the basis of residence nor in respect of students of a particular university, therefore, distinguishing the judgments of this Court in Sanjay Ahlawat v. Maharishi Dayanand University ( 1995 (2) SCC 762 ) and Jagadish Saran (Dr) v. U .....

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directions issued by this Court, in the case of Dr Pradeep Jain ( 1984 (3) SCC 654 : 1984 (3) SCR 942) 15% of the seats have already been reserved for all-India candidates. Therefore, having made such reservation, it is open to the Municipal Corporation under the powers vested in it under Section 66(21) of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 to frame the impugned rules which is done to fulfil its obligations towards the students who have studied in the educational institutions .....

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ning to admissions to undergraduate courses in educational institutions is concerned, it is now well settled in view of a large number of judgments of this Court in D. P. Joshi v. State of M.B. 1955 AIR(SC) 334 : 1955 (1) SCR 1215), D. N. Chanchala v. State of Mysore ( 1971 (2) SCC 293 : 1971 Supp SCR 608, Jagadish Saran ( 1980 (2) SCC 768 ) and Dr. Pradeep Jain ( 1984 (3) SCC 654 : 1984 (3) SCR 942) wherein it is held that so far as undergraduate courses are concerned, the reservations based on .....

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1992 (3) SCC 232 ) and Gujarat University v. Rajiv Gopinath Bhatt ( 1996 (4) SCC 60 ) 10. But the question in this case is slightly different from the law laid down in the above-cited cases. Under Rule 7 of the impugned rules, "a local student" is defined as a student who has passed SSC/New SSC Examination and the qualifying examination from any of the high schools or colleges situated within the Ahmedabad municipal limits. As per this rule, it is only those students who qualify from .....

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necessary qualification, their selection being based on merit. If that be the object, can it be said that a classification based only on the location of the educational institution within or outside the municipal area is a reasonable classification ? In our opinion, the answer should be in the negative. In the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the Ahmedabad Municipality in the writ petition, it is stated that the Medical College in question was established to cater to the needs of the studen .....

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ired their qualification from institutions situated just outside the Ahmedabad municipal area i.e. within AUDA, would be denied the benefit of admission to the College which is run by the Ahmedabad Municipality. In our opinion, confining the definition of "local student" to only those students who acquired the qualification from educational institutions situated within the local area creates an artificial distinction from amongst the students who are residents of Ahmedabad city and tho .....

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on the ground that he is employed in AUDA ? The answer again can only be NO. Similarly, if the object of the rule is to provide medical education to the students of Ahmedabad because of its municipal obligations then a differentia within the class of students of Ahmedabad on the basis of their acquiring qualifications from schools within the Ahmedabad municipal limits or within the limits of AUDA would be arbitrary and violative of Article 14 11. By this conclusion of ours we do not mean that a .....

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the High Court was right in coming to the conclusion that the rule in question does suffer from an element of arbitrariness, we are of the opinion that the remedy does not lie in striking down the impugned rules the existence of which is necessary in the larger interest of the institution as well as the populace of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The striking down of the rule would mean opening the doors of the institution for admission to all the eligible candidates in the country which wo .....

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ovide as many seats as possible to its students is a natural and genuine desire emanating from its municipal obligations which deserves to be upheld to the extent possible. Therefore, with a view to protect the laudable object of the Municipality, we deem it necessary to give the impugned rule a reasonable and practical interpretation and uphold its validity 14. Before proceeding to interpret Rule 7 in the manner which we think is the correct interpretation, we have to bear in mind that it is no .....

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