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Supreme Court dismisses SLP that could have impacted Kashmiri student’s MBBS studies in Bangladesh

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir’s SLP against Kashmiri MBBS student Mubashir Ashraf Bhat, who had taken an education loan to study medicine at a community college but changed her college subsequently. The UT had approached the Apex Court against the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Division Bench which had ruled in the student’s favour.

Today, the bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant opined that such a petition filed under Article 136 cannot be entertained when such a move will likely dislocate the student from pursuing the course. Also, the consequence of accepting this plea will amount to cancelling loan resources of a youth from Jammu and Kashmir. The bench then dismissed the appeal.

“These Kashmiri students have to be brought to the mainstream. We need to uplift the youth of Kashmir by educating them and our interference will act contrary to it”

-Justice Surya Kant said.

During the hearing, the counsel for the Jammu and Kashmir government said the father of the student disclosed to the Jammu and Kashmir Women’s Development Corporation (JKWDC) that the college has been changed. 

The JKWDC had sanctioned a loan to Mubashir Ashraf Bhat for her admission to 5-year MBBS course at a Community Based Medical College in Bangladesh and not for her admission to Khwaja Younus Ali Medical College, Bangladesh and as such the loan instalment could not be sent to the second college.

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Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said, “There is laxity on her part, she is a youngster, have we not done mistakes when we were young?”

The Division Bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, while allowing Bhat’s appeal, directed the JKWDC to release the remaining instalments of the loan amount under Education Loan Scheme of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) in favour of Bhat, so that she could complete her course in accordance with scheme as well as sanction order dated 24.12.2018.

The two-judge bench of J&K High Court had opined that when the admission of petitioner Mubashir got cancelled in pursuant to non-payment of college fees, no fault can be attributed on the student, since she had completed all formalities and it was the fault of corporation.

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Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul and Justice Ali Mohammed Magrey set aside the order of a single judge, thereby quashing communication order dated 31.1.2020 issued by the JKWDC, which sought release of refund of a sum of Rs 6 lakh from Bhat.

Mubashir Ashraf Bhat had approached the JKWDC under the NMDFC scheme for doing her MBBS in Community Based Medical College in Bangladesh.

The aforesaid college issued an admission letter on 3.9.2018 to Mubashir Ashraf Bhat and subsequently, Rs 30 lakh was sanctioned by the JKWDC in her favour. It was sanctioned after verifying antecedents of respondent and upon execution of mortgage deed by her father.

Bhat’s father submitted an application to the JKWDC on 30.12.2019 that due to non-availability of seats in Community Based Medical College, Bangladesh, the payment of Rs 6 lakh released by the corporation was paid to Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College, Bangladesh and such amount has already been received by authorities of Khwaja Medical College. Further, he demanded for the second instalment of education loan in favour of Khwaja Medical College.

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Advocate-on-Record Taruna Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad raised the ground that with respect to transfer of amount from one college to another without informing the JKWDC was a breach of terms and conditions of the sanction letter.

Bhat had also contended before the division bench of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court that corporation released the amount very late due to which college authorities refused to admit her, and she had to approach Khwaja Medical College to secure her admission there.

The question of law raised in the Special Leave Petition raised whether the High Court erred in not considering the fact that disputes relating to contracts cannot be entertained under Article 226 and writ court is not a proper forum to adjudicate upon such disputes.

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