Bombay HC slams MCI for not ensuring Merit-Based Admissions
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court recently pulled up the Medical Council of India (MCI) over its failure to ensure whether the admissions were made in self financing medical colleges on account of merit.
The division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice G S Kulkarni asked the apex medical regulator as to why it does not have any mechanism in place to verify whether students admitted to medical courses by private medical colleges are as per the state merit list. It observed that it was not inclined to pass orders in favour of the petitioner student who did not secure an admission in a Pune-based private medical college.
According to the recent report by the HT, the case pertains to the student who alleged that while she had a better merit score, students with lesser merit or even those who were not eligible were admitted by the institute and she was denied admission.
During the hearing of the plea filed by the student, the bench was informed that after the regular rounds of medical admission had been completed, a mop round was conducted to fill up the remaining seats.
The counsel appearing of behalf of the student submitted that the aspirant had received a call from the private medical college at Pune on July 30 asking her to reach the college and secure her admission by July 31. It was maintained that the petitioner medico who is based in Mumbai was unable to reach the college on the said date due to the lockdown.
It was further submitted that it was only later in August that aspirant came to know that students who were much lower than her in the merit list or were not even eligible had secured admission in the medical college. The counsel added that when she confronted the medical college on the same issue, she was reportedly told that as she had failed to reach on the given date she could not ask for a seat. Aggrieved by the alleged arbitrariness of the medical college, the student had approached the court on August 14.
In response, the MCI contended that as per admission norms if it was found that non-meritorious student/s were admitted to the medical college then such admission would have to be cancelled or the seat would have to be surrendered.
After hearing the submissions from both sides, the court asked the medical college about its whole stance in the case. It questioned the institutional authorities' logic behind giving students only a day's time to reach the college and take admission amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown situation. Further, it wondered as to how the state could allow the medical college to have such a system for medical admissions.
Noting that this move by the medical college led to admissions of less meritorious candidates and in some cases even ineligible candidates, the bench said:
"It seems that due to the pandemic only those students who were in and around Pune were granted admission even if they were less meritorious or not even eligible,"
Judge Datta further asked the MCI why it did not have any mechanism to check whether colleges were adhering to admission norms and were admitting only those students who were as per the state merit list, reports HT.
Agreeing with the student's submission, the court said that as she had not joined the less meritorious or ineligible students as a party in the petition who had secured admission in the private medical college it was not inclined to pass orders favouring her.
"Passing orders in favour of the student would mean displacing a student who had secured admission, but as those students were not a party to the petition it was not inclined to pass orders… You should study better and score better and seek admission next year"
However, lastly, the bench directed the petitioner's counsel to inform the court as to what course of action his client wanted to adopt in light of the observations.
Then the bench posted the matter for hearing on September 29.