The Supreme Court on Thursday directed a medical college in Lucknow to grant compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the 150 students it had admitted in the MBBS course without having due permission from the government, besides directing a refund of admission fee.
The apex body in no uncertain terms has also debarred the college, in question, GCRG Institute of Medical Sciences from admitting students for the next academic year commencing 2018-19. TOI reports that the Supreme court has further imposed a fine of Rs. 25 lakh to be deposited with the Supreme Court registry within 8 weeks.
Besides the action against the medical college, the court was also seen reprimanding the Allahabad High Court bench for allowing the admissions.
The college was among 32 colleges that had been denied permission by the Centre to admit students for two years. The GCRG trust had challenged this in the Supreme Court. But on August 28, it withdrew the petition from the apex court with the latter’s consent and filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court the next day.
The case indeed became controversial in the month of September when one judge of a two-member Allahabad high court bench made corrections in his own hand to the original order to allow the medical college to admit students to MBBS course for 2017-18.The above order went against the SC direction that the lower court was not to issue an interim order pertaining to admissions for the year 2017-18.
Commenting on the Allahabad High Court’s order allowing the institute to admit students in violation of its order, the apex court bench, comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud has called it an act of “Judicial indiscipline and impropriety”, reports the TOI.
The court had earlier remarked, “We really fail to fathom the manner in which the high court has misconstrued our order and passed the final order for 2017-2018, ” reports HT.
This overlooking by the High Court led the apex court judges to say, “It is most unfortunate, which may cause [an] institutional problem,” The bench further gave the lower court a hint that the issue may be taken up by the Supreme Court on the administrative side.
It is reported that Medical Council of India (MCI), the country’s medical education regulator, had moved the top court against the high court’s order.
Meanwhile, MCI’s Senior Counsel Vikas Singh and lawyer Gaurav Sharma, informed the bench, that the High Court had given permission for student admissions despite the college not having the Centre’s sanction, and also overlooking the infrastructural, faculty and clinical material deficiencies pointed at by the Council.
“Catena of cases has categorically held that in matters relating to medical and dental colleges, the High Court should refrain themselves from allowing admissions by way of orders as the same will jeopardize the career of students,” the MCI Counsel argued in the Supreme Court, reports the Hindu.
The College Counsel Advocate Rajeev Dhawan arguing in defense said the institution should not be held liable for the wrong committed by the High Court. However, the apex court stayed firm on its directive to the college.
Reprimanding the GCRG Memorial Trust severely, for having played with the careers of students, the court while quashing their admissions reinforced that the college will have to compensate for jeopardizing their futures and “polluting young minds” by making them party to the violation.