Friday, December 8, 2023

Supreme Court issues notice in plea challenging Delhi HC order on backdoor entry in medical college

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice in a plea challenging the order of the Delhi High Court which upheld that discharge orders passed by the National Medical Commission on cancelling the admission of students, who are alleged of getting medical college admissions through the back door.

The notice was issued by the bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Justice B.R. Gavai who observed many institutes do illegal admissions by defying the legal structure and then use students as pawns to shield them while approaching courts.

Even after continuous instructions by MCI, they keep admitting the students. When matters get out of hand and MCI takes a decision, they approach courts.

The Bench says they hear such matters often. The colleges tell court that the matter is pending for 4-5 years, our hands are tied. The bench further said that it is difficult for them also to take any action in this situation at times. That is a huge problem.

In 2016-17, NEET-UG was conducted on 01.04.2016, however, the Private Dental and Medical Colleges associations issued their own advertisement and admitted students on the basis of counselling conducted by it.

The Apex Court in a contempt petition said that students can only be admitted to private medical colleges on the basis of a centralised counselling process which is conducted by the States.

During the proceedings in the case, the Court had assured that seats of Government as well as private institutions will be completely filled and no seat shall remain vacant.

The petitioners had registered with the State and participated in the counselling process.

Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, who appeared on behalf of student-petitioners, submitted that the concern of students not being admitted via the counselling process was wrong and they were granted admission as per the process.

Admission was granted to them only when vacancies were not filled up by the State till the end.

The advocate informed the court that in this particular case untill the 4th counselling, the college concerned only did the common merit counselling as directed.

He further said that after 4 rounds were over, there were two vacancies. On the last date, i.e., 7th June, 3 more students opted for it, which made it 5 vacancies.

The Darus Salam principle of how vacancies should be filled was not applicable then, so the college wrote to DME for suggesting names which got no response and so the students were enrolled.

Justice Rao observed, “In Saraswati case, the same argument was made The students were approached at night, but no one responded.”

Senior Advocate Kaul said in this case the students were not admitted outside the counselling process. He said, “There was actually counselling outside of the college counselling.”

Justice Rao asked then why were the petitions discharged?

The petitioner counsel replied, “MCI says you were not enrolled and today we have done about 4.5 years.”

The Bench has issued notice but it was concerned that the admission of such petitions encourage other similarly situated individuals to approach the Court, even when it is categorically stated that it ought not to be cited as a precedent.

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