Backdoor entry to MBBS course is illegal: SC denies relief to 67 Glocal Medical College students
New Delhi: Observing that no sympathies can be shown to MBBS students who got admitted for the course through backdoor entry, the Supreme Court bench has recently dismissed a review petition filed by a few MBBS students who got admitted to a UP-based private medical college in the Academic session 2016-2017.
Opining that MBBS admissions conducted via private counselling was illegal, Apex Court bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari noted, "The admissions which were conducted through the said private counseling cannot be termed as anything else but per se illegal."
"Though we have all the sympathies with the students, we will not be in a position to do anything to protect the admissions, which were done in a patently illegal manner," further noted the Court.
The case concerned some MBBS students, the review petitioners in the case, who were admitted in the 1st year Professional MBBS course for the Academic Session 2016-2017 to a UP-based Glocal medical college after appearing in NEET 2016 and qualifying the same.
However, they had admitted to the medical college via private counseling even though the State of Uttar Pradesh via notification dated 31.08.2016 had issued a direction for conducting centralized counseling for admission to MBBS/BDS courses in all medical colleges of the State. Such a direction included the private colleges and minority institutes as well.
The medical college concerned in this case, had conducted their private counseling despite Notifications issued by the State of Uttar Pradesh regarding common counseling. Meanwhile, the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI) issued a letter directing to discharge 67 students admitted by the medical college.
Thus, the students approached the top court challenging the discharge order issued by MCI, now National Medical Commission (NMC), which was earlier challenged by the medical college itself. They sought review of the order passed by the Court dated July 20, 2020, dismissing the Special Leave Petition filed by Glocal University, Glocal Medical College, Super Specialty Hospital & Research Centre, and Abdul Waheeb Education & Charitable Trust. The review petitioners were not a party to the said petitions.
The MBBS students, who are the review petitioners before the Supreme Court contended that they had cleared the NEET entrance examination and were admitted to the medical college through the counseling conducted by the college.
They also submitted that they had cleared the 1st and 2ndyear MBBS examinations as well and the counsel for the petitioners urged that it would not be in the interest of justice to through the petitioners at this point of time.
On the other hand, the counsel spearing for MCI and Uttar Pradesh Government submitted before the court that the students had entered the college through the backdoor entry and their admission was the result of collusion between the medical college and the petitioner students.
They further submitted before the Court that despite being aware of the notification issued by the State government on 22.08.2016, the medical college had conducted private counseling against the law and thus the students, who entered through the backdoor entry, were not entitled to any equitable relief.
At this outset, the Court took note of the notification in question which clearly mentioned that counseling of universities of private sectors or minorities universities of private sector would be conducted through combined counseling board.
The Apex court bench also noted that although the notification was challenged before the Allahabad High Court, the HC had found no fault with the same.
"It could thus clearly be seen that though minority institutions were allowed to admit the students of their community-based on Centralized Counselling held by the State on the basis of NEET 2016, the same was to be done without deviating from the merit of the said students," noted the SC bench and it denied accepting the contention of the counsel for the petitioner that the notification being only an administrative instruction was not binding.
"It could thus clearly be seen that the private counseling by Glocal Medical College was conducted contrary to the Notification issued by the State of Uttar Pradesh, which Notification, in turn, was based on the judgment of this Court in the case of Modern Dental College and Research Centre which was decided on 2.5.2016," further noted the Apex Court bench.
Further mentioning that the Allahabad High Court had also negated the challenge of the UP government notification, the bench noted,
"In the light of this position, it was not at all permissible for the Glocal Medical College to have conducted private counseling. The admissions which were conducted through the said private counseling cannot be termed as anything else but per se illegal."
"Though we have all the sympathies with the students, we will not be in a position to do anything to protect the admissions, which were done in a patently illegal manner," added the bench.
The court in this context referred to several judgments including Guru Nanak Dev University v. Parminder Kr. Bansal and others, Gurdeep Singh v. State of J & K and others, K.S. Bhoir v. State of Maharashtra and others, Mahatma Gandhi University and another v. GIS Jose and others, and National Council for Teacher Education and another v. Venus Public Education Society and others.
"In the backdrop of this legal position laid down in various judgments of this Court, it will not be possible to consider the cases of the review petitioners sympathetically."
Noting that the medical college had conducted private counseling against the notification of the UP government, the bench observed, "In such a situation, no sympathies can be shown to such students who have entered through backdoor," and it dismissed the review petition filed by the MBBS students.
Apart from that, MCI vide order dated 27.1.2017 had discharged the said students, who were not admitted through centralized admission process. It is pertinent to note that 25 students admitted in the same college, who were admitted through the centralized admission process, were very much absorbed by the DGME in other colleges. As such, the contention of the review petitioners that they came to know about the discharge order dated 27.1.2017 issued by MCI only when they had filed a petition in the High Court in 2019 does not stand to reason.
It is difficult to appreciate as to how the results of the students were declared for the 1st year MBBS examination, how they were admitted in the 2nd year MBBS course and how they cleared the 2nd year MBBS examination, despite the fact that MCI had discharged the students vide order dated 27.1.2017.
Review Petitions are without merit and as such dismissed, said the SC.
To read the court order, click on the link below.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the transfer of 25 MBBS students from Glocal Medical College. Early in 2019, the students of the 2016-17 batch had approached the Allahabad High Court seeking transfer to another medical college in the UP since there was no infrastructure for their teaching and training in the MBBS course. There were complaints standing in relation to the forged records including surgeries, IPDs, OPDs, attendance records being uploaded on the MCI web site with patients being admitted at the time of inspection and faculties.