Karnataka High Court allows OCI students to appear for CET-2022 under general category
The High Court of Karnataka has permitted the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) category students to register for the Common Entrance Test (CET)-2022 and participate in the counselling on a par with Indian citizens to pursue their bachelor degree in the general category of seats in engineering, architecture, ayurveda, and other professional courses.
A vacation Division Bench comprising Justice R. Devdas and Justice K.S. Hemalekha passed the interim order on April 28 on a batch of petitions filed by Vivek Goutam and several other students belonging to the OCI category.
All eligible OCI students
The Bench also made it clear that benefit of this interim order would not be restricted to only the petitioner-students, but will be made applicable to all eligible OCI students for the academic year 2022-23.
The Bench passed the interim order on noticing that the Supreme Court, acting on a batch of petitions questioning limiting admission only under NRI category of seats to OCI students, in February 2021 passed an interim order and permitted OCI students to appear for counselling in general category of seats.
Counsel for the the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), which conducts exams, has pointed out that the Supreme Court had said that its February 2021 interim order was limited only to the academic year 2021-22.
However, the Bench noted that the benefit of apex court’s interim order of 2021 has to be extended to the OCI students for the academic year 2022-23 as the apex court has not yet decided the validity of the Ministry of Home Affairs notification, dated March 4, 2021, through which the Union Government had limited admission of OCI students to professional courses only through NRI quota.
The petitioner-students had moved the High Court as the brochure issued by the KEA inviting application from the students for CET-2022 to seek admission to BE, B.Arch, Yoga and Naturopathy, Veterinary Sciences, Farm Sciences, and B.Pharma courses had made it clear that “no candidate shall be eligible for admission to Government seats unless he is a citizen of India.”
From other countries
Though the petitioner-OCI students have studied for a minimum of seven years in Karnataka as per the requirement in law, they are citizens of United States of America and other foreign countries by virtue of their births. OCIs are technically not Non Resident Indians (NRI). NRIs are generally Indian citizen who have lived or worked overseas, but continue to hold an Indian passport