Medical Colleges cannot admit beyond Sanctioned Limit or MBBS Admission Deadline: Madras HC
Chennai: In a recent judgment, the Madras High Court bench has held that the MBBS admissions need to be commensurate with the annual intake capacity of the concerned medical college.Reiterating the earlier orders of the Supreme Court directing to strictly follow the schedule for admission, the Madras HC bench comprising of Justice Abdul Quddhose recently dismissed a plea by MBBS aspirants...
Chennai: In a recent judgment, the Madras High Court bench has held that the MBBS admissions need to be commensurate with the annual intake capacity of the concerned medical college.
Reiterating the earlier orders of the Supreme Court directing to strictly follow the schedule for admission, the Madras HC bench comprising of Justice Abdul Quddhose recently dismissed a plea by MBBS aspirants who sought admission under the wards of defence personnel quota and noted, "...it is clear that neither intake of students can be allowed beyond the sanctioned limit nor time schedule for completion of the admissions for the medical colleges can be extended...The regulations streamlining the admission of students in medical college are made to maintain higher standards in medical education."
The HC bench was considering a plea filed by two students who are children of defense personnel. They sought admission in the MBBS course under the wards of defence personnel quota relying on a Government Order dated 30.06.1979, issued by the State Health Department. It was the submission of the students that the State failed to implement the concerned Government Order, despite the earlier order of the HC, which had issued direction for the implementation of the same.
Another plea challenged the recent G.O dated 10.01.2022 as well as the prospectus for admission to MBBS/BDS degrees in Tamilnadu Government Medical/Dental Colleges for the year 2021-2022 on the ground that they have not implemented the earlier G.O.
On the other hand, referring to the HC order dated 19.08.2021, the State authorities submitted that in that order, relevant directions had been issued only to the Central Government for revisiting the priority list giving equal importance to all children of defence personnel whether ex/deceased /serving by distributing the quota uniformly, so that all the three categories will be benefited.
The court noted that the petitioners claimed that while allotting seats to all the three sections of defence personnel, namely ex/deceased and serving personnel as per G.O.Ms.No.1142 dated 30.06.1979, there must be equal distribution of seats for each of the three categories
Meanwhile, the State authorities submitted that the competent authorities for revisiting the quota given to defence personnel namely ex/deceased and serving personnel is only the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence, Government of India. According to them, only in accordance with the directions given by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India from time to time, the present quota for wards of defence personnel has been fixed.
The Government submitted that the circular issued by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India dated 21.05.2018, the priority status for wards of defence personnel was fixed. They further stated that based on the directions issued by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, the State Health Department issued order on 01.06.2018 for increasing the number of seats reserved under ex-servicemen quota from 6 to 11 seats from the academic year 2018-19.
It was further submitted by the State that for the year 2021-2022, 251 candidates were eligible under the Children of Ex-servicemen quota for MBBS / BDS Degree courses. According to them, the priority/eligibility list was also published in their official website.
They further contended that under the special category for Children of Ex-servicemen quota, 10 MBBS and 1 BDS seat in Government Medical and Dental Colleges were allotted. It was further stated that in accordance with the prospectus for MBBS/BDS degree courses for the year 2021-22 session, top 18 candidates in the Ex-servicemen merit list were called for counselling which was held on 27.01.2022. According to them, out of the said top 18 candidates in the priority list, ten candidates were allotted for MBBS and one candidate for BDS Courses under the Children of Ex-servicemen quota.
Since the father of the petitioner was now a serving defence personnel, the students came under category of priority-VIII which has been fixed by the Central Government. In priority-VIII list, the ranks of the petitioners were allegedly very low and therefore, they were not allotted seats, submitted the Government.
Meanwhile, filing a detailed counter, the National Medical Commission (NMC), categorically stated that the deadline fixed for admission of students was 28.04.2022 which has already come to an end. Further referring to several orders of the Supreme Court, the NMC submitted that the deadline for admitting students need to be strictly followed.
Therefore, NMC contended that the petitioners cannot be admitted into one of the Government medical colleges at this belated stage as it would amount to violation of the Supreme Court orders.
It was further contended by NMC that the number of seats available for the allotment to the students was based on the infrastructure of the respective institutes. The Commission submitted that the MBBS/BDS were courses of higher learning and higher standards of education needs to be maintained in this regard. Unless there is infrastructure available in the medical college, the standard of medical education will decline, contended NMC. At this outset, the Commission referred to several orders passed by the Supreme Court for maintaining proper infrastructure for maintaining higher standards.
After considering the submissions made by all the parties, the G.O.Ms.1142 health and Family Welfare Department dated 30.06.1979, which provided reservation to the children of ex/deceased and serving defence personnel at the rate of 2 seats for each category under the PUC & BSC stream of education, was not applicable for the petitioners. The reason for the non applicability is the fact that NEET was not in prevalent when the said G.O. was passed.
"Further, the said G.O. refers to specifically PUC and BSC stream of education which is not applicable to the petitioners who have not completed their education under those streams of study. NEET is a recent introduction and is completely different from the erstwhile systems," noted the court.
Apart from this, the Court also took note of the fact that the petitioners had applied for admission to medical colleges under the ex-servicemen quota only to the State Government, which offers reservation to ex-service of all categories.
Referring to the G.O dated 10.01.2022, the HC bench noted that reservation under the ex-servicemen category has been fixed only as per priority list published by Government of India, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi from time to time. The bench also noted that even though initially the priority list quota for wards of serving defence personnel was not added, it was included subsequently.
Therefore, turning down the plea, the bench observed, "As observed earlier, reservation of seats for wards of defence personnel is fixed only based on the circulars issued by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India from time to time. There is no circular issued by the Ministry of Defence stating that all the three categories namely Ex/deceased and serving defence personnel must be allotted seats in equal ratio. When no such type of reservation has been provided by the Central Government, the question of allotting seats to the petitioners in that ratio will not arise and has to be rejected by this Court."
At this outset, the bench also stressed upon the need for adhering to the time schedule for admissions. In this regard, the bench referred to Supreme Court orders in the case of Ashish Ranjan vs. Union of India & others, Medical Council of India vs. Madhu Singh, Mridul Dhar vs. Union of India, and Medical Council of India vs. Manas Ranjan Behera.
Relying upon these orders, the bench observed, "When the deadline has been fixed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court as 28.04.2022, the question of allotting seats to the respective petitioners at this stage will not arise. Therefore the request has to be necessarily rejected. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has also deprecated the practice of increase in admission capacity beyond the sanctioned limit by constitutional courts."
In this context, the bench also clarified that NMC fixes the annual intake capacity for each medical course and "Each college/institution is statutorily bound to strictly adhere to its annual intake capacity. No college/institution is permitted to exceed its annual admission capacity for each course sanctioned by the National Medical Commission."
Further referring to the Supreme Court order in the case of State of Punjab & Others vs. Renuka Singla & Others, the bench observed, "The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the said decision held that the High Court cannot disturb the balance between the capacity of the institution and number of admissions on compassionate grounds."
Therefore, placing reliance upon several earlier orders of the Supreme Court, the Madras HC bench held that
"From the aforesaid decisions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, it is clear that neither intake of students can be allowed beyond the sanctioned limit nor time schedule for completion of the admissions for the medical colleges can be extended. The petitioners in the instant case (students) claim that they are already studying in a private medical college and therefore, the deadline fixed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court is not applicable to them. The said contention will have to be necessarily rejected as the Hon'ble Supreme Court has made it clear in its decisions that on no account, the deadline can be extended. The regulations streamlining the admission of students in medical college are made to maintain higher standards in medical education."
Finally, dismissing the plea, the bench further observed,
"The students who are going to be the medical doctors in the near future cannot be allowed to seek relaxation of regulations which have been imposed only in their interest and in public interest. A categorical stand has been taken by the third respondent who is monitoring the medical examination that on no account, the deadline for completing admissions of medical colleges can be extended. This being the case, when the regulations of the third respondent who is an expert and the statutory authority states that deadline cannot be extended which has been upheld by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, this Court cannot ignore the same."
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.