Arbitrary denial of Admission to MBBS Course.

The Respondent No.1 passed the final year MBBS Examination in January, 2019. She completed the one-year Compulsory Rotary Internship as a Resident Intern from 28.03.2019 to 27.03.2020 at Malla Reddy Narayana Multispecialty Hospital. Thereafter, she was awarded Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Degree on11.06.2020. In the meanwhile, she appeared in the All-India National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)Medical PG Entrance examination, 2020 on 05.01.2020.She secured All India Rank-93563 with 327 marks in the NEET examination for admission into Post Graduation Medical Course. The Respondent No.1 was called for counselling and was given provisional admission to the MS (General Surgery) course in the Mop-up Phase (MQ)-P3 on 28.07.2020 and was allotted to the Respondent No.2- College under Management Quota. According to the provisional allotment order, Respondent No.1 was required to report before the Principal of Respondent No.2-College by 04:00 PM on 30.07.2020. In case of failure to report before Respondent No.2 -College within the prescribed time, the provisional selection of Respondent No. 1 shall be automatically cancelled.According to Respondent No.1, she approached Respondent No.2-College along with her father on29.07.2020 and 30.07.2020 for submission of certificates and payment of tuition fees as well as college fees. Inspite of her presence in Respondent No. 2-College, the admission of Respondent No.1 was not completed. On30.07.2020, the last date for admission into PG Medical Courses was extended till 30.08.2020 pursuant to the directions issued by this Court. Respondent No.1 made an attempt to meet the Chairman of Respondent No.2-College on 07.08.2020. However, she was not permitted to meet the Chairman. 3.Having left with no other alternative, Respondent No.1 filed a Writ Petition for seeking a declaration that denial of admission to her in the PG Medical Course for the academic year 2020-2021 as illegal. Respondent No.1 also sought a direction to Respondent No.2-College to grant admission in MS (General Surgery). Respondent No.2-College filed a counter in the Writ Petition in which it was stated that the University constituted a Committee for verification of original certificates and students who were allotted provisional admission by the University were directed to approach the said Committee for the purpose of verification of original certificates. Respondent No.2-College denied that Respondent No.1approached the College for admission on 29.07.2020 or 30.07.2020. In the next sentence the Respondent No.2-College averred that Respondent No.1 and her father visited the College on 29.07.2020 only for the purpose of enquiring about the admission procedure and the requisite fee. As Respondent No.1 did not avail the opportunity of admission, Respondent No.1-Collegecontended that Respondent No.5 was given admission on 11.08.2020.

By its judgment dated 18.09.2020, a Division Bench of the High Court allowed the Writ Petition and directed the Appellant to create a seat in MS (General Surgery)and to grant admission to Respondent No.1. The High Court disbelieved the statement of Respondent No.2-College that Respondent No.1 did not approach the College either on 29.07.2020 or 30.07.2020. The admission granted to Respondent No.5 who is 2000ranks below Respondent No.1 on 11.08.2020 was found fault with by the High Court. As Respondent No.1 was illegally denied admission by Respondent No.2-College,the High Court directed creation of a seat and to grant admission in MS (General Surgery) to her.

In S. Krishna Sradha case(supra), Supreme Court held as follows:

“33.In light of the discussion/observations made hereinabove, a meritorious candidate/student whohas been denied an admission in MBBS Course illegally or irrationally by the authorities for no fault of his/her and who has approached the Court in time and so as to see that such a meritorious candidate may not have to suffer for no fault of his/her, we answer the reference as under:12 | P a g e(i) That in a case where candidate/student has approached the court at the earliest and without any delay and that the question is with respect to the admission in medical course all the efforts shall be made by the concerned court to dispose of the proceedings by giving priority and at the earliest.

(ii) Under exceptional circumstances, if the court finds that there is no fault attributable to the candidate and the candidate has pursued his/her legal right expeditiously without any delay and there is fault only on the part of the authorities and/or there is apparent breach of rules and regulations as well as related principles in the process of grant of admission which would violate the right of equality and equal treatment to the competing candidates and if the time schedule prescribed – 30thSeptember, is over, to do the complete justice, the Court under exceptional circumstances and in rarest of rare cases direct the admission in the same year by directing to increase the seats, however, it should not be more than one or two seats and such admissions can be ordered within reasonable time, i.e., within one month from 30thSeptember, i.e., cut off date and under no circumstances, the Court shall order any Admission in the same year beyond 30thOctober.However, it is observed that such relief can be granted only in exceptional circumstances and in the rarest of rare cases. In case of such an eventuality, the Court may also pass an order cancelling the admission given to a candidate who is at the bottom of the merit list of the category who, if the admission would have been given to a more meritorious candidate who has been denied admission illegally, would not have got the admission, if the Court deems it fit and proper,however, after giving an opportunity of hearing toa student whose admission is sought to be cancelled.

(iii) In case the Court is of the opinion that no relief of admission can be granted to such a candidate in the very academic year and wherever it finds that the action of the authorities has been arbitrary and in breach of the rules and regulations or the prospectus affecting the rights of the students and that a candidate is found to be meritorious and such candidate/student has approached the court at the earliest and without any delay, the court can mould the relief and direct the admission to be granted to such a candidate in the next academic year by issuing appropriate directions by directing to increase in the number of seats as may be considered appropriate in the case and in case of such an eventuality and if it is found that the management was at fault and wrongly denied the admission to the meritorious candidate, in that case, the Court may direct to reduce the number of seats in the management quota of that year, meaning there by the student/students who was/were denied admission illegally to be accommodated in the next academic year out of the seats allotted in the management quota.

(iv) Grant of the compensation could be an additional remedy but not a substitute for restitutional remedies. Therefore, in an appropriate case the Court may award the compensation to such a meritorious candidate who for no fault of his/her has to lose one full academic year and who could not be granted any relief of admission in the same academic year.(v) It is clarified that the aforesaid directions pertain for Admission in MBBS Course only and we have not dealt with Post Graduate Medical Course.”

Relief by Supreme Court:

Directions issued in S. Krishna Sradha case (supra) can be made applicable to admission to Post Graduate Courses as well.

As the last date for admissions for the present academic year is 30.08.2020, we are not inclined to grant admission to Respondent No.1 for this academic year. Even if the admission of Respondent No.5 is cancelled as having not been in accordance with the Regulations, it would not be of any use to Respondent No.1 or to any other eligible candidate. Furthermore, the High Court is right in holding that Respondent No.5 might not have known about the denial of admission to Respondent No.1 illegally. Though we disapprove the practice of Respondent No.2-College in picking up students for granting admission without following the merit list, we do not seek to disturb the admission granted to Respondent No.5. Respondent No.2-College adopted unfair means to deprive Respondent No.1admission to PG course. Respondent No.1 has lost one precious academic year for no fault of hers for which she has to be compensated by way of an amount of Rs.10Lakhs to be paid by Respondent No.2- College within a period of four weeks from today. Furthermore,Respondent No.1 is entitled for admission to the MS(General Surgery) course in the next academic year2021-22 and shall be given admission in a seat allocated to Respondent No.2-College. In other words, one seat in MS (General Surgery) course from the Management Quota of Respondent No.2-College for the next academic year (2021-22) shall be granted to Respondent No.1.

[Source: National Medical Commission vs. Mothukuru Sriyah Koumudi decided by SC on 7th December 2020.]

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