A condition such as making students aware about the pendency of the matter and stating that their admissions would be subject to the result of pending litigation, is not a sufficient insulation.
New Delhi: With many medical colleges challenging the MCI decision of debarrment and seeking interim relief from courts to be allowed provisional admissions for the time being, the Supreme court recently set aside one such interim order of the high court permitting a medical college to provisionally admit students to first MBBS course, observing that such orders allowing provisional admissions and making them subject to the result of the petition may entail tremendous adverse consequences and prejudice to students.
The court also described how when such medical colleges are denied permission, hardships are faced by students and wastage of academic years of the concerned students when they are not accomodated in other medical colleges
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported about the case of NC Medical college, which had been first denied admissions for the coming academic year by the Medical Council of India and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare based on its deficiencies , but got new lease of life after the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered that the college undergo another MCI inspection for the purpose of renewal of MBBS seats for the third batch.
Through the said interim order, the High court had stated the following
- Council inspection within a period of 2 weeks
- Submission of the inspection report to the court
- Students to be issued a notice while granting them admission about the pendency of the instant writ petition
- An undertaking to be furnished by the petitioner institute that they would abide by all the conditions laid down by the MCI, in this regard
The Medical Council of India, challenging the said high court order, knocked the doors of the Supreme Court. While stating that there was no reason for the High Court to entertain any prayer for any interim direction, the ASG submitted that in any case according to him the law laid down by this Court is very clear that admissions ought not to be allowed to be effected on the strength of interim directions.
The court summarising the matter stated
a) Even at the initial stage, the physical inspection was undertaken twice and since the deficiencies were found, the scheme was not approved by MCI and the Central Government. It was only because of the approval accorded by the Supreme Court mandated Oversight Committee that the Respondent College was permitted to make admissions for the academic year 2016-2017.
b) The conditions subject to which said approval was accorded were not found to have been complied and the deficiencies were found to be persisting. The matter was considered twice by MCI and the Central Government and it was decided to debar the Respondent College for two years.
c) The physical verification in compliance of the order of this Court again found deficiencies. The matter was again considered but resulted in negative recommendation.
d) The assertion that there had been compliance was, on the strength of documentation itself, found to be inaccurate and wanting in three areas. The subsequent inspection found such assertion completely inaccurate and therefore resulted in negative recommendation.
e) While the contest was pending at the level of the Central Government, the present Writ Petition was filed in which the interim direction has been issued.
Objecting to the admissions, the Supreme court bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Deepak Gupta observed
In the face of repeated failures on part of the Respondent College to remove the deficiencies, no permission to make admissions for the current academic session could have been granted unless and until on physical verification everything was found to be in order. A condition such as making students aware about the pendency of the matter and stating that their admissions would be subject to the result of pending litigation, is not a sufficient insulation. We have repeatedly seen cases where after making such provisional admissions the Colleges have been denied permission upon physical verification. Questions then come up as to what is the status of such students and how best their interest can be protected. Theoretically, in terms of conditions of Essentiality Certificate the concerned State Government is obliged to take care of interest of such students. But the harsh reality is such students cannot be accommodated because in normal circumstances all the seats in every Medical College are filled up. It then becomes a case of impossibility of accommodating such students in any existing College. The entire exercise may thus result in great hardship and wastage of academic years of the concerned students. It is for this reason that while granting any interim relief very cautious approach needs to be adopted. It may be possible to expedite the process of physical verification in a given case but to allow provisional admissions and make them subject to the result of the petition may entail tremendous adverse consequences and prejudice to students.
Quoting a number of decision in similar matters, the apex court noted
In the backdrop of the law laid down by this Court, the High Court was not justified in passing interim directions and permitting the Respondent College to go ahead with provisional admissions for the Academic Session 2018-19. We, therefore, allow this appeal and set aside the order dated 29.05.2018 passed by the High Court.
” Since the matter is pending in the High Court we make it clear that we have not and shall not be taken to have dealt with factual controversy in any manner and the matter shall be considered purely on merits in the pending writ petition.” the court added