The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a medical college in Telangana to pay compensation of Rs 10 lakh to a General Surgery (MS) course aspirant for illegally denying her admission. The Division Bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta passed this judgment on the appeal filed by the National Medical Commission against a judgment of the Telangana High Court which had ordered the National Medical Commission to create or sanction one seat to enable the Respondent no. 1 (Mothukuru Sriyah Koumudi) to get admission.
Koumudi had applied for the postgraduate course in surgery at the Kamineni Academy of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Hyderabad (Respondent no. 2), after securing a rank in NEET 2020. She had visited the college with her father on July 29 and 30, but her admission process was not completed.
Koumudi then approached the Telangana High Court aggrieved by the denial of admission. The High Court allowed the Writ Petition and directed the National Medical Commission/ Medical Council of India to create or sanction one seat in MS (General Surgery). A further direction was given to Kamineni Academy of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Hyderabad to grant her admission in MS course. The National Medical Commission challenged this order contending that additional seats cannot be created this way.
The Bench observed, “The question that arises for our consideration is whether the High Court was right in directing the creation of a seat for this academic year for granting admission to Respondent No.1. It has been repeatedly held by this Court that directions cannot be issued for increasing annual intake capacity and to create seats. The annual intake capacity is fixed by the Medical Council of India (now National Medical Commission) which has to have strictly adhered. Admissions to Medical Colleges cannot be permitted to be made beyond the sanctioned annual intake capacity of a medical college as has been repeatedly held by this Court.”
“In the case of Asha (supra), it was held by this Court that the rule of merit for preference of medical courses and colleges admits no exception and that the said rule has to be followed strictly and without demur. The last date for admissions has to be strictly followed except in very rare and exceptional cases of unequivocal discrimination or arbitrariness or pressing emergency. In such cases, admission can be granted by courts even after the last date. A contrary view was taken in Jasmine Kaur case (supra) wherein this Court was of the opinion that a student is only entitled to compensation in cases of illegal denial of admission and no admission can be directed after the last date,” held the High Court.
The Court has directed the college to grant admission to the candidate for the next academic year since the last date of admission for the current academic year had expired.