16 students admitted without NEET MDS qualification: HC refuses to regularise admissions, orders Rs 10 lakh compensation each
Jaipur: While considering the plea by MDS students, the Rajasthan High Court recently refused to regularize the admissions granted to 16 medical aspirants who had been admitted to a Kota based Dental College without clearing the NEET examination.However, taking note of the fact that these students had been admitted in the MDS course on the basis of "false promise", the bench comprising of...
Jaipur: While considering the plea by MDS students, the Rajasthan High Court recently refused to regularize the admissions granted to 16 medical aspirants who had been admitted to a Kota based Dental College without clearing the NEET examination.
However, taking note of the fact that these students had been admitted in the MDS course on the basis of "false promise", the bench comprising of Justice Ashok Kumar Gaur granted Rs. 10 Lakhs compensation to each of the students.
Refusing to regularize the admissions granted to the petitioners, the bench observed, "This Court, though cannot regularize the admissions which were granted to the petitioners, however, the petitioners need to be compensated by the respondent-College for the illegality committed by them while giving admission to the petitioners and further furnishing incorrect and false information to different authorities i.e. respondent-University and respondent-DCI."
However, the bench considered the wastage of time by these candidates and noted, "Though, this Court has found that the petitioners were not eligible for MDS Course and did not furnish full and correct information before the authorities, however, the fact remains that the petitioners were admitted in the Course in the year 2017 and their three years in the College is sheer wastage of energy, time and money spent on their education by their parents."
Therefore, dismissing the pleas, the bench directed in its order, "1. The respondent-College shall pay a sum of Rs.10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lakhs Only) to each petitioner within a period of three months, as compensation, as the petitioners have suffered on account of false promise made to them to get admission in the respondent-College for doing MDS Course.
2. The Vice Chancellor of the respondent-University shall initiate disciplinary proceedings against the erring officials who have handed over degrees of the petitioners of MDS Course Batch-2017 to the respondent-College. The said disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted & concluded in an expeditious manner but in no case later than three months from the date of passing of this order. After completion of the disciplinary proceedings, the result thereof, be immediately placed before this Court."
The concerned 16 petitioners had been admitted in the MDS course by Kota based Daswani Dental College back in 2017 and it was completed back in January 2020. Although they had appeared in NEET PG examination for the MDS course, they had failed to obtain the qualifying marks. Meanwhile, due to the high cut-off several dental seats remained vacant and the private medical colleges had filled up these seats by themselves. Similarly, the petitioner students had also been admitted to the court by the concerned Dental college after the Mop up round.
Although these students had not been admitted after qualifying NEET, as per the scorecard issued by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) they were found to be qualified on the basis of revised All India MDS ranking.
However, the court also noted that the enrollment forms, filled in by the petitioners in the University, reflected the marks of the petitioners and the same were at variance/different, as per the record available with the NEET PG Admission/Counseling Board.
Later the concerned dental college had uploaded the list of the students, admitted in the MDS course on the portal of the Dental Council of India (DCI). Following this, the Dental Council of India (DCI) in its meeting dated 23.08.2018 had decided to discharge those 16 students and a copy of the said decision had been sent to the concerned college as well.
However, despite such a direction, the college allowed the petitioner MDS students to pursue the course and it did not challenge the said order as well.
At such an outset, it was the submission by the students that despite the fact that they had completed the three year MDS counsel, the Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS) denied issuing them with enrollment numbers and prevented them from participating the examination. They claimed that such a decision of the University was an arbitrary act. Therefore, filing the plea before the HC bench the students prayed for direction upon the concerned authorities so that they get allowed to fill online examination forms and participate in the MDS Final Year (Main) Examination held in June, 2020.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the petitioners informed the court about the recent development and submitted that after the court had reserved its order, University had sent the degrees of those 16 students to the concerned college and said degrees had been distributed to the petitioners from 20.05.2022 to 30.05.2022.
After taking note of the submissions, the bench took note of the fact that some of the petitioners did not even appear in the NEET PG Examination, 2017 and yet while filling up the enrollment form, they all have shown themselves to have appeared in the NEET PG Examination, 2017 and some of them also gave incorrect information relating to the marks obtained by them in the NEET PG Examination.
At this outset, the bench noted, "This Court finds that the petitioners have themselves got admission without having eligibility and they did not qualify in the NEET Examination and the petitioners further supplied incorrect information to the University authorities by furnishing false information of having secured qualifying marks in the NEET examination and as such, the petitioners cannot be allowed to plead that notice or opportunity was required to be given to them."
It further observed, "This Court finds that the petitioners got admission by wrong means knowing fully well about their eligibility and as such they cannot be permitted to claim right in their favour of offering them opportunity of hearing before discharging them from the course, in which they got admission in an illegal manner."
The bench also refused accepting the submission by the counsel for the petitioners that the verification of admission of the petitioners is yet to be concluded and discharge order has been passed without completing the process of verification. The court noted, "...this Court finds no substance in the said submission and it is wrong assumption on the part of the petitioners that verification of admissions of the petitioners is yet to be concluded."
It also rejected the contention that after completing the three years of study, those seats would go wasted and with this argument, the petitioners prayed the court for regularizing their admission.
"This Court finds that if the plea of the learned counsel for the petitioners is accepted, then the Colleges/admission bodies will be acting on their own to adjudge the eligibility of different persons for the professional courses and the candidates without having the requisite eligibility and merit will be able to get admission and then seal of approval will be sought from the Courts of law that such persons need to be regularized for the purpose of pursing professional courses," the court noted in this context.
The court also relied upon the Supreme Court order in the case of Abdul Ahad & Ors. Vs. UOI & Ors., where the court had s laid down the law that if the admissions in the medical college are granted by conducting private counseling then such admissions are termed as per se illegal.
In that order, the Apex Court had further held that when the admissions granted to the students through private counseling, are found to be per se illegal, then such admissions cannot be protected, as the said admissions were done in a patently illegal manner.
Referring to this, the HC bench noted, "This Court finds that admission of the petitioners by illegal means, cannot be retained." Besides, the court in this context had also relied upon the top court order in the case of Gurdeep Singh Vs. State of J&K & Ors.
Therefore, finding the concerned University guilty, the bench observed, "This Court finds that the University authorities who have issued the degrees to the respondent-College have acted in most irresponsible, callous and illegal manner. The fact of restraint order, being passed by the Division Bench of this Court, was very much in the knowledge of the University authorities and in spite of having the knowledge of such restraint order, if they have handed over the degrees of the petitioners to the respondent-College, they need to be dealt with by this Court in strict manner."
Further the slamming the authorities, the bench noted, "The explanation given in the additional affidavit by terming such action to be a human error and further only by giving letter of calling upon explanation from two subordinate staff i.e. Section Officer and Senior Assistant, is no solution/answer to the blunder committed by the University authorities."
The court also held the dental college responsible and observed, "This Court is also required to see the conduct of the respondent-Dental College as in what manner, admissions were granted by them to the petitioners and further in spite of the discharge order passed by the DCI in the year 2018, yet the petitioners were allowed to continue with their studies by permitting them to complete three year MDS Course and apparently made them eligible for claiming relief of appearing in the examination on completion of three years."
Although the bench did not regularize their admission, it awarded Rs 10 lakh compensation to each of the students noting that they had to suffer "on account of false promise made to them to get admission in the respondent-College for doing MDS Course."
Ordering disciplinary action against the erring officials, the bench noted, "The Vice Chancellor of the respondent-University shall initiate disciplinary proceedings against the erring officials who have handed over degrees of the petitioners of MDS Course Batch-2017 to the respondent-College. The said disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted & concluded in an expeditious manner but in no case later than three months from the date of passing of this order. After completion of the disciplinary proceedings, the result thereof, be immediately placed before this Court."
To read the order, click on the link below.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.