In a decision of major significance in relation to medical and dental admissions in the country, the Apex Court was recently found directing all the High Courts Across the country, not to allow medical and dental colleges to admit students until their legal dispute with the Centre over their affiliation is resolved
The case in question pertained to the recognition of courses of Dr. Hedgewar Smruti Rugna Seva Mandal, Hingoli & Ors. by the Dental Council of India, yet the case indeed represents the story of most medical and dental colleges in the country.
The said dental college applied to Dental Council to start MDS course in the two specialties had been disapproved by the Government of India in 2015. In November 2015, DCI team visited the college and highlighted the deficiencies. The PG committee then asked the college to fulfil the deficiencies submit its compliance within seven days
In January 2016 the Council decided to carry out the physical assessment of the dental college in order to ascertain the infrastructure, clinical material, teaching faculty etc. Again deficiencies were pointed out and compliance report was asked to be submitted. In February, the college submitted that deficiencies had been removed. The college verified the compliance and recommended the GOI not to give permission to the college and consequently in March Government of India (GOI) disapproved the scheme of the respondent-college for starting MDS course in the specialty of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics for the academic session 2016-2017.
The college knocked on the doors of the High Court, where the vacation bench stayed the Government of India order of March adding that the college shall intimate the order passed by this Court to the students who are intending to take admission for M.D.S. course in Orthodontics and Denotfacial Orthopaedics.
The decision of the High court was now quashed by the Apex court, which implied that such interim orders indeed amounts to granting permission to medical colleges
…..the order amounts to granting permission for the admission of students in certain courses in a college which had not received approval. There may be a case where the court may ultimately come to the conclusion that the recommendation is unacceptable and eventually the decision of disapproval by the Government of India is unsustainable. But the issue is whether before arriving at such conclusions, should the High Court, by way of interim measure, pass such an order…..
The court went on to add that such types of orders should be avoided as they create chaos.
it is perspicuous that the court should not pass such interim orders in the matters of admission, more so, when the institution had not been accorded approval. Such kind of interim orders are likely to cause chaos, anarchy and uncertainty. And, there is no reason for creating such situations. There is no justification or requirement.
The High Court may feel that while exercising power under Article 226 of the Constitution, it can pass such orders with certain qualifiers as has been done by the impugned order, but it really does not save the situation. It is because an institution which has not been given approval for the course, gets a premium. That apart, by virtue of interim order, the court grants approval in a way which is the subject matter of final adjudication before it.
The court indeed commented on its impact of students
The anxiety of the students to get admission reigns supreme as they feel that the institution is granting admission on the basis of an order passed by the High Court. The institution might be directed to inform the students that the matter is sub judice, but the career oriented students get into the college with the hope and aspiration that in the ultimate eventuate everything shall be correct for them and they will be saved. It can be thought of from another perspective, that is, the students had deliberately got into such a situation. But it is seemly to note that it is the institution that had approached the High Court and sought a relief of the present nature. By saying that the institution may give admission at its own risk invites further chaotic and unfortunate situations.
The High Court has to realize the nature of the lis or the controversy. It is quite different. It is not a construction which is built at the risk of a plaintiff or the defendant which can be demolished or redeemed by grant of compensation. It is a situation where the order has the potentiality to play with the career and life of young. One may say, “… life is a foreign language; all mis-pronounce it”, but it has to be borne in mind that artificial or contrived accident is not the goal of life.
There is no reason to invite a disaster by way of an interim order. A Judge has to constantly remind himself about the precedents in the field and not to be swayed away by his own convictions.
While with the order, the Apex court was seen quashing the order the high court, but not without extending relief to students who had already taken admission
The students who have been admitted shall be allowed to continue their courses, but their seats shall be adjusted from the academic session 2017-2018. The respondent-college cannot be allowed to get a premium. The grant of bounty is likely to allow such institutions to developan attitude of serendipity