Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Govt definition of ‘domicile’ inadequate: HC

Quashes Cancellation Of Domicile Certificates Of Four Medical And Dental Students

The Gujarat high court on Wednesday highlighted the ambiguity in the state government’s definition of ‘domicile’ and quashed its decision to cancel the admissions of four students in medical and dental courses after holding their domicile certificates invalid.
Justice J B Pardiwala made it clear that the government should consider that the parents of four students were living in Gujarat for more than ten years and they intended to settle in Gujarat for a long time. Here, the domicile of the children would follow the domicile of their parents. The four students have made clear their intention to settle in Gujarat, at least for the present, and their domicile certificates should not have been cancelled.
The HC highlighted that the state government’s amended rules do not define the term ‘domicile’ or ‘domicile of Gujarat’.
They also do not stipulate that only those candidates who establish a ‘minimum continuous stay of ten years in Gujarat at the time of application’ can be considered eligible for the domicile of Gujarat.
Justice J B Pardiwala ordered the authorities to allow these students to continue their studies in the medical courses they were granted admission to.
Their admissions were cancelled after studying for two months, following the state government’s scrutiny of domicile certificates of all candidates in professional medical courses. This followed an HC order, after complaints poured in about bogus domicile certificates being issued.
In October, the state government cancelled these four admissions on the grounds that these students were born outside Gujarat and they did not have a 10-year continuous stay in Gujarat as they had spent some years outside the state for their studies.
The high court reiterated that staying outside Gujarat for studies cannot be considered a break in their continuous stay in Gujarat. The HC found that the word ‘domicile’ is being used in a ‘popular’ rather in a strictly legal or technical sense in the state government’s circulars. After a long discussion, the HC also said that it is difficult to lay down an absolute definition of the word ‘domicile’.

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