Feel free to contribute on burning issues concerning the armed forces. Contributions would be acknowledged - Use the 'Comments' tab or email navdeepsingh.india[at]gmail.com. No operational/business/commercial matters to be discussed please. Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained. Information on this blog is opinion based and is neither official nor in the form of an advice. This is a pro bono online journal in public service related to issues, policies and benefits, and the idea behind it is to educate and not to create controversy or to incite. Be soft in your language, respect Copyrights.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Full reservation for wards of military personnel in Army College of Medical Sciences is illegal and unconstitutional : Supreme Court

This morning does not bring very good news.


In a judgement that may have far reaching consequences, and perhaps a cascading effect on other institutes as well, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has ruled that reserving all seats for wards of army personnel in the Army College of Medical Sciences (ACMS), Delhi, was illegal and unconstitutional, and the college, even though run by the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES), shall be amenable to the reservation policy as applicable in Delhi under the relevant statute and, of course, the Constitution of India.

The 164 page judgement covers the length and breadth of the reservation policy under the Constitution as well as the issue whether an unaided non-minority educational institution can have the liberty of admitting students of its own choice. The Court while fully acknowledging the difficulties faced by defence personnel and their wards, has held that notwithstanding such issues, it was not permissible for the ACMS to dedicate itself only to wards of army personnel.

The judgement of the SC would not affect admissions undertaken in the past.

The following paragraph of the judgement essentially explains the spirit of the judgement :-

……If we find that every unaided educational institution can define its own source, then we run head long into a situation wherein the entire field of higher education is carved up into “gated communities”, with each new educational institution defining its own source in whichever manner it may choose to, as long as overt and invidious constitutional grounds of classification are not resorted to. How will the scholars in those colleges interact with people from other communities, other social backgrounds, so that they can perceive and conceive the manner in which they may have to apply what they are learning to solve the problems in the wider social context of India? Where would such classifications stop? Would members of the judiciary, both higher and lower, then determine that they will start many law colleges which will only admit wards of such members of the judiciary? Would Indian Administrative Officers, along with some slightly lower level in the administrative rung then have a similar right? Would the members of the police force also then get such rights? Would NASSCOM or a group of software companies say that they want to start software engineering colleges that will open their portals only to those who belong to NASSCOM? Where will this stop? How will this nation take the burden of such walled and divided portals of knowledge? What will become of the prayer of our national poet laureate, that knowledge be free and where the world is not broken up into fragments of narrow domestic walls? Have we set ourselves on the path to such divisiveness, at the very source of the one force that could liberate us and unite us, and make us a more egalitarian society? If we were to uphold the logic of the learned Senior Counsel appearing for the Respondents, which we cannot under the ratio of TMA Pai, and P.A. Inamdar, but under “complete justice jurisprudence” of Article 142, then we would have set ourselves on a slippery slope, whereby the entire field of higher education would comprise of “gated communes” or some new and perverse form of caste system, where existing advantages, of occupations, social and economic stature, would get ossified only within a small segment of the population. Surely, fundamental rights have been granted to the citizens, to be free and build a better society or at least refrain from actions that would create further walls of social division……

46 comments:

manav musings said...

Idea of AWES was noble,
But law of land takes precedence.
We faujis are there to ensure that no outside aggression violates this law of LAND.

Arisen Warrior said...

But reservation on grounds of being a religious minority are legal! Maybe the Army should set up its own 'minority' religious system first! Any takers for the position of '1st Prophet of WarriorCreed'?!

Rajesh said...

This is the death knell of AWES.
If we go by the thinking of the judges then how come states have the right to admit students of the same state, they should be open to students of all India. Don't the Private educational institutions by giving seats on capitation reserve seats only for the rich and shouldn't it be unconstitutional?

LT.COL.HS DHAM( MAHARS ) said...

Armed Forces with a unique characteristic and obligations to the Families who always suffer due to the service conditions, whenever offered some concession. This becomes a heart burning issue for others. Have they ever appreciated or realised the privileges which have been offered to the non defence fraternity since Independance were systemattically denied or under scored with every Pay Commision. This is the First time that Armed Forces have raised thier voice for all the disparities but is looked down upon as if Armed Forces is always meant to do and die. It is good to give and take in a good spirit but now to accept every thing lying down is sheer cowardice. Heed to what Sri Krisna said to Arjun and what Guru Gobind Sing Ji sermon and what the Mortal Dhannapalan did and what people like Navdeep are doing A SELFLESS SERVICES. God Bless them all and Bless us to appreciate, co-operate BUT NEVER NEVER at the cost of National Unity Integrity and Welfare CHEERS and JAI HIND

synapse said...

All Govt servants (IAS included) face the problem of their children education because of frequent postings - infact unlike army, IAS, IPS officers get posted in far greater frequency and at notices as short as an hour.

So there are Central Schools where children of Govt servants can study without bothering about postings.
Why did then army started its own privately run' Army Public Schools - then go on to create other professional institutes? How can someone create an infrastructure on public land without govt sanction?

The correct approach should have been to enhance Central Schools. May be persuade govt to set up Professional Institutes for the Central govt employees.

All AWES institutes including Army Schools should be taken over by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. Compare the results and you will see where Army Schools stand in comparison.

As it stands - Army is a law unto itself.

SATTY'S CORNER said...

The Supreme Court ruling is rather unfortunate and spells death knell for the AWES and its institutions run with spirited motives for the army personnel.The matter does not end here.There are far too many institutions in the country which should also go under the lens of the court.The army must dig in its heels.The medical college was to actas feeder college to provide docs in the army.Othere will retreat once you make joining army compulsory to the pass outs of this college.

Anonymous said...

THE COURT ORDER IS CORRECT.WE CAN NOT RUN AN INSTITUTION ONLY FOR OURSELVES.THE SAME THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN FOR OTHER INSTITUTIONS LIKE ARMY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,SELECTION FOR POST GRADUATE SEATS IN BIG HOSPITALS LIKE ARMY HOSPITAL R & R ,CHAF BANGALORE,ASVINI HOSPITAL MUMBAI ETC WHERE NO RESERVATION AS PER PREVAILING NORMS ARE FOLLOWED.we should take up the case for reservation for our wards in civil professional colleges

Anonymous said...

@ synapse..

correct me please if i am wrong, but, majority of ias and ips postings are within the state. thus shifting in the biggest state is an overnight journey. However, in armed forces, if one is posted in North east or J&K, traveling to nearest civilization can take two or three days.. weather willing.

Not withstanding, hardships faced by the families due to frequent postings of central govt employees needs to be addressed with compassion and resolve. case in the point where one fails is poor performance of Central Schools or KVs.

KVs were designed for helping central govt employees but their infrastructure is way below desired in remote locations. Teachers performance may be average to below average but parents have no choice but send their wards in these schools as there are no other options.

Further, in case one gets posted to a city and places his ward in a good private school, KVs don't allow admission on subsequent transfers as TC of private school is not admissible for admission in KV.

In a society where English is a preferred choice for medium of instruction, students are taught in Hindi as teachers are not conversant in English adequately.

Hon'able Supreme court decided in its wisdom and it shall be respected, same way armed forces respected payment of toll tax on dnd fly over despite having been exempted in the act (law of the land).

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that SC ruled this way. But in this case the Govt will accept the recommendations immidiately because it suits their intrests. But how about IV PC arrearrs case and many other cases wherein the Govt goes in for appeal.So it is selective to their liking and not on merits at all. In anycase I know of IPS officers who might have been posted in hours but their family continued to stay at Chandigarh during almost full tenure of his carreer.sometimes there have been cases of having two govt houses at two diffrent places ,just like MPs who continue to retain houses even after their tenure. I dont think we can actually compare the life in Armed Forces and other services.
GURDEEP SINGH
GROUP CAPTAIN (Retd )

rajawat said...

i think problem is not so big as it sounds . i think supreme court only directed that there should not be 100 percent reservation . a set percentage of seats can be offered to others . so it is matter of few seats only . in any case armed force strength is very large , all the wards can not get admission in this college , we hve to look to civil institutions in any case . for example even if going by 100 percents reservation norms only 100 or 200 army wards can get admission in ACMS, but if 5000 army wards who want admission in MBBS then 4800 students have to seek admission in civil institutions . now 4850 students will seek admission in civil institutions
thanks

PBOR said...

i m thrilled to read the noble comments of h.ble supreme court. a gud decision.

Anonymous said...

SC is right . let there be no reseravtion for any in INDIA. we r free nation with Independence gtd more than 60 yr back. let it be free for all, based only on merit. no govt nor even SC will accept that.so why now singlr out only Army/Navy/AF institutions who have built up the sys frm scrach for the betterment of Inda/world

Anonymous said...

The SC verdict is absolutely in right
spirit.
There MUST NOT be any reservations for any region/state/class/ caste / relegion /minority etc and all institutions must treat all students/candidates at par.
Admissions / jobs must go to the eligible based purely on merit.
Wo subah kab aayegi ??

ANUPAM said...

this is only happening becoz of incompetent and squint vision of the respected only senior lottt....would do the best of the pomp and show for inauguration of the event but least effort to fight for own officers and jawans....kanoon ke aagey jhukney ko sadaaa hain tyaaar...and loook forward to retire or get post out to get out of any kind of contradicting issues...we have the best of the officers and best of the jawans....but a minority percent of visionary leaders....thanks again the visionaries of AWES...

Buddhiprakash@rediffmail.com said...

Our constitution allows for special measures for the benefit of sections of the society which are having social and economical disadvantage. Armed Forces personnel are one of them . Unfortunately,out of the disadvantaged sections only those which form a vote bank have been favourite with all politicians, the Armed Forces never got their due despite being a clear cut disadvantaged section of the society which does not enjoy even the fundamental rights. A meagre 5% reservation by some institutions has been granted to them which is also not available due to factors like domicile. A sincere effort of AWES(starting ACMS) which would have helped the nation in the long run has been rendered futile. The money used by AWES is contributed by Army personnel and using it for educating non Army people would amount to misappropriation hence AWES would have no option but to close the college. Who will then fund it. If the Delhi Act 80 of 2007 is against ACMS, the law can be amended by the same legislative assembly which framed it. The bigger question is - will any MLA come forward and propose an amendment to the Delhi Act 80 of 2007 in the Delhi Assembly. We must remember that the country which can not respect and look after the interests of its soldiers can never grow strong. How to convey this to the people who are sitting in the positions which matter. Closure of ACMS is imminent and it will be very unfortunate for the country as a whole

Anonymous said...

It is an extremely good decision to stop full reservation for wards of army personnel in ACMS.The main reason why AFMC was such a good college was because of the variety of people enrolled in with varied perspectives.Army kids tend to have a narrow and skewed view of life seeing that they lack exposure to the world.

Anonymous said...

Sir,

We always boast of our services. A gift given away by any means cannot be taken back or can demand in lieu of of the gift. Thereby, our selfless sacrifice should be wholehertedly towards the motherland. Our forefathers have given their lives for the sake of the country's freedom but their ancestors never claim any compensations in lieu of. Therefore, why should we fight for everything for the sacrifice. Let us be brave and fight for the reservations, corruption, inflation etc.etc. You will see that our children will be gifted by the God. Because our children are all good in discipline and merit. Then why to divide ourselves in the name of education. Thank you all my brethren. If it hurts anybody, then plese pardon me. I always like to talk for the rank and file.

Anonymous said...

We should file a review petition for the same.

Synapse said...

AWES has been a easier but wrong solution to a genuine problem.

I was once faced with a genuine problem which could not be solved within the ambit of existing Govt rules. I was advised by the concerned IAS baboo that it would be better to get the Govt rule revised first. The road appeared to be a difficult one but was better than bending rules (else who knows who will bend it in which direction and how much?). It took time but one day when I was long posted out the "President of India was pleased..." - the Rule was made and the problem solved once for all and became applicable to the entire Services.

We are always in a hurry - want to show achievement within our tenures - rather, before the ACR is written... that's why we bend (break?) rules. We think of own career progression than the progression of the organisation. 'I' come first - always and every time!

Chetwode has been a fashion statement for the elites in the army. I remember my boss telling me to remove the Chetwode board from his office - "it is like a slap every morning I enter the office!".

Anonymous said...

Defence Services are not Gp A Services. We are also not a minority. We are not special in any way. What are we? Time to ponder?

Lt Col (retd) Dr G Kameswara Rao said...

Dear Major Navdeep Singh,Could you kindly give the Case Number in the Supreme court , the date of the judgement, and the referenc to AIR or SCC inwhich the judgement is rported, to enable me to access it in full, and oblige ?
thanx
regards
Lt Col (retd) Dr G Kameswara Rao, Secunderabad. email kamu1932@gmail.com mobile 09989823046
landline 040 27018046.

sara said...

no reservation has been given to wards of army persons in afmc or aipmt.their also other minority catagories claim their reservations.no doubt no minority groups are taking the risk of sacrificing their life for country."minority groups" are just claims to get a seat.more than five hundred seats are reserved for them in india and then why cant we have hundred seats

Anonymous said...

We must respect and obey the honourable SC's decision. However, AWES should make 2 years military service mandatory for all the students of ACMS. Then we will know how many will come forward for admission in ACMS.

rajawat said...

one need to understand the concept of union civil services and armed force services . rules regulations
method of dischage , appointment r totally different . one service cannot copy the other . only few allowances which r made applicable to both the services . there is no equalency between commissioned officers or GP A GP B officers . both works in their own domain .
there can only be a flexible working parity while both of them works together is certain situations .beyond that to draw a comparision etc is meaningless .
similarly schemes of civil services cant be implemented for armed forces . however govt can formulate similar schemes for armed forces also separately . this is general practice . onlt heart burn is that formulation and approval of such schemes rests with civil services even for armed forces . here is the real wedge .

Anonymous said...

Large number of army wards could not write many other medical enterance exam because they had to write ACMS exam on 07 & 29 May and large number of children & parents came to delhi for stage 2 ACMS exam. There are large number of Army Public schools and other institutions which will also get closed soon by the same argument.

Anonymous said...

why the sc not sorting out golf clubs too

Anonymous said...

As a ward of an army officer,I strongly disapprove of SC decision.Since most of the wards whose parents are in Government jobs and defence services move with them on their postings they pursue and even complete their education in those places whether they maybe remote areas or big cities.Most of the people applying for IPU's CET MBBS tend to be from Delhi where they can get best of the educational facilities and if they raise questions on full reservation for wards of military personnel it's incorrect since many of us are deprived of those educational facilities which they get in big cities and we have even completed our education from those places they wouldn't have heard in their life and it keeps on varying every 2-3 years.Instead I'm very thankful to AWES for setting of institutions for wards of military personnel.If SC raises questions of ACMS being minority institution then it must think over several institutions of the country which have state reservations and are minority institutions.And if the reservations in educational institutions has raised so many issues it must be stopped as it is Bill for compulsory education for all was implemented last year thus even the SC/ST would be well educated and selections should be based on merit.

ANKITA said...

Ido respect Supreme courts verdict. While issuing this verdict why the H'ble supreme court did not rationalise admission process for all professional colleges in India.There are autonomous universities, private universities, minority institutions so on .There is no standard rules for admission to any of these institutions, the why ACMS? kINDLY FOLLOW A STANDARD RULE FOR THE ENTIRECOUNTRY RATHER AREA/ INSTITUTION CENTRIC

RP Singh said...

No doubt, verdict of the Hon'ble Supreme court is to be honoured in letter and spirit. Comparing life and hardship faced by the Army Personnel with those in the civil services does not make any sence.
Please give a thought, when you relax in sound sleep the soldier stand alert in icy winds of Siachin. When you sleep in an air conditioned room the soldiers face sandy storms of Rajasthan. A soldier spends eighty percent of his life away from his children thus depriving them of morale support and other valuable guidlines. Whereas wards of the civilian fraternity gets best schools, counceling facilities best educational facilities and every thing that is required for a better future . At this juncture this is not the time to get happy. I am very sure if Military Service is made cumplsory for the students of ACMS, none of you is likely to come up.

Rohit said...

If someone think acmsshould b made open then i ask him to do something. Just go to bhuj cantt, dhangdhara cannt ,any army feild post cantt and ask yourself that student living there can compete with one in city, you will get answer why acms was required. What is wrong with delhi civilians they even can't see 100 seat for army kids. They are saying it violets equality i ask them ipu reservation policy, dpmt policy of giving only some seat to outside delhi is fair. Amu giving reservation on basis of internalship,cmc vellore 95% reservation for christian,etc is constitutional.

Anonymous said...

First of all this institute was created for wards of army personnal . It's not like there are hundreds of colleges like ACMS in medical field , it's just one . Can't civilians keep their nose out of it . We don't go and question when there are so many reservations on the name of backward classes. There's never an objection 2 a thing til u r on d beneficiary side ...isn't dat d case?? I think civilians shud stay out of this , they have many opportunities elswhere ....and i don't think few seats at ACMS shud b a big deal for non-army people.....

HS said...

The AWES must allow students other than wards of Army personnel, however make two to five year military service cumpolsory on passing out. This would help the intake into the services as also improve the understanding of the defence services amongst the society in the long run once these persons are employed in the civvy street

Anonymous said...

those persons who is in favour of SC I think their's NO family members even a single are in Army/AF/Navy

arpan said...

hey ! well actully i am a lawyer myself and i am working on a case where i am asking the delhi high court to make such a scheme, where the wards of army officials are given a direct admission in university after their 10+2. so i wanted some information whther such a thing alrady prevails anywhere in India till date, if anyone can provide me with some information i would be obliged.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the wards of air force personnel get such kind of reservation?

Anonymous said...

army college of medical sciences is just for wards of army personnel. this institution is the result of hardwork of all army persons and now civilans are demanding seats. the only institute providing higher education to wards of army personnel.every tile used in the institution is a result of great efforts of army persons. thanks to armed forces for initiating such a noble cause.

preeti joon said...

delhites have 85% quota in delhi medical colleges and now they want quota in ACMS too.Is not 85% quota sufficient for them in their city's colleges.only they are the one to get higher education. ACMS is just for wards of army personnel.

Anonymous said...

Air force personnel would have never joined for the cause of a separate institution so they are deprived of such institutes

ashutosh chauhan said...

hmmmm....i was wondering what would happen to the acms building and hostel if the college packs up. Maybe they would shift AHQ into this building, away from the stables presently housed in.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why they are making such a ruckus with ACMS, They should look at other Army colleges like AIT, ACDS etc which are again totally reserved for children of army personals. And I totally agree with the posts that we definitely form a minority in ourselves.

Anonymous said...

The way forward is to set the fees high and give scholarship to wards of army personnel from welfare funds. This will discourage outsiders from taking admission.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion when army person can apply in any civil college then why civilians can not.more over I am an exservice man from haryana and we have got sufficient reservation for ex servicemen in addmissions and then in HCMS(Haryana civil medical services)same I know about Punjab and few other states.
This is a right decision in right direction.

CAPT (RETD) AMIT ARORA

Haridas Mandal said...

Get armed forces out of commercial activities incl those schools colleges . This crash commercialisation in the name welfare to its troops has been stretched too long..its is at the breaking point of discipline to dishonesty. It started with URCs. Now armed forces is seen converting defence lands and accommodations into commercial hubs. Its not good for the country as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Sir,
I am serving as JCO come to know that there is facility of college free sheet (college fee waiver scheme) as my daughter saying that some student get this benefits but she unable to provide me the form I am also unable to know which was it and where I can get the form to fill and forward to college authority to avail this facility. Please let me know if possible please send me the form on my email address - ggaikwad005@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Quota is seriously a problem for this country

vijay mohan said...

Even though reservations are being given ex-DSC personnel's wards are not given reservation in army colleges whereas they also are a part of defence services