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Article 16(2) of the constitution prohibits discrimination on ground of place of birth and not on ground of residence

Pradeep Jain (Dr.) v. Union of India
AIR 1984 SC 1420: (1984) 3 SCC 654: 1984 Ed Cas 237
JUDGES: P.N. Bhagwati, A.N. Sen and Ranganath Misra, JJ.
Date of Decision: 22-6-1984

A group of writ petitions raised a question of great national importance affecting admissions to medical colleges, both at the under-graduate and at the post-graduate levels. The question was whether, consistently with the constitutional values admissions to a medical college or any other institutions of higher learning situate in a State can be confined to those who have their “domicile” within the State or who are resident within the state for a specified number of years or can any reservation in admissions be made for them so as to give them precedence over those who do not possess domicile or residential qualification within the State irrespective of merit.

Conflict between place of birth and place of residence in respect of discrimination.

It is clear on reading of the Constitution that it recognized only one domicile, namely, domicile in India, article 5 of Constitution is clear and to one domicile namely, domicile in the territory of India. Moreover, it must be remembered that India is not a Federal State in the traditional sense of that term. The concept of “domicile” has no relevance to the applicability of municipal laws, whether made by the Union of India or by the States. It would not therefore be right in opinion of court to say that a citizen of India is domiciled in one State or another forming part of the Union of India.

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