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:

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Duty of Public Authority to act fairly.

Duty of Public Authority under article 14 f Constitution:

It is clear from the Board‟s conduct that it never responded to the letters written by Asiatic Steel; at least, no reply has been placed on record. Even Asiatic Steel‟s request for permission to carry-out the necessary clearance work at the cost of the board, was not responded to-either positively or negatively. Further, whenever any bidder approached the court complaining that the plot allotted was unusable, the Board decided, mostly contemporaneously, to refund the amount, even with interest. In the case of Asiatic Steel, however, when the demand was made for refund on 19.05.1998, the Board did not act,forcing the company to approach the court, firstly through a civil suit which was later withdrawn, and then in a writ petition.

Silence of public authority:

In the opinion of this court, the Board‟s complete silence in responding to Asiatic Steel’s demand for refund, coupled with the absence of any material placed on record by it suggesting that the complaints had no substance leaves it vulnerable to the charge of complete arbitrariness. The Board‟s conductor indifference in regard to the refund sought (in respect of which there was no meaningful argument on its part before the High Court) can be only on the premise that it wished the parties to approach the court, till a decision could be taken to refund the amounts received by it.

In this court‟s considered view, the Board’s action is entirely unacceptable. As a public body charged to uphold the rule of law, its conduct had to be fair and not arbitrary. If it had any meaningful justification for withholding the amount received from Asiatic Steel, such justification has not been highlighted ever. On the other hand, its conduct reveals that it wished that the parties should approach the court, before it took a decision. This behavior of deliberate inaction to force a citizen or a commercial concern to approach the court, rather than take a decision, justified on the anvil of reason (in the present case, a decision to refund) means that the Board acted in a discriminatory manner.

Continue reading “Duty of Public Authority to act fairly.”