No Sympathy For MBBS Students Admitted In Contravention of Law: SC On MCI Order Discharging 67 Students
17th August 2021, the Supreme Court in Abdul Ahad and Ors Vs. Union of India and Ors — Review Petition (Civil) Nos.18351836 Of 2020, dismissed the review petition challenging the order of the Medical Council of India (MCI) discharging 67 students admitted to Glocal Medical College through private counselling. The students were admitted in contravention of the notification dated 31.08.2016 issued by the State of Uttar Pradesh (UP), directing the conduct of centralized counselling for admission to MBBS/BDS courses in all colleges including private and minority institutions.
A three-judge bench of Hon’ble Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari held:
“In such a situation, no sympathies can be shown to such students who have entered through backdoor. Apart from that, MCI vide order dated 27.1.2017 had discharged the said students, who were not admitted through centralized admission process. It is pertinent to note that 25 students admitted in the same college, who were admitted through the centralized admission process, were very much absorbed by the DGME in other colleges.”
The review petitioners were students who were admitted to the First Year MBBS course for the Academic Session 2016-17 in Glocal Medical College affiliated to Glocal University, a deemed University in the State of UP after qualifying the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET 2016). The State of UP issued a Notification dated 31.08.2016 with a direction to conduct centralized counselling for admission to the MBBS course in all colleges including private colleges. The college conducted its private counselling despite the notification. MCI issued a discharge letter dated 27.01.2017 to the Glocal Medical College directing it to discharge 67 students whose names were not in the list supplied by the Director-General of Medical Education & Training (DGME). Some students, aggrieved by the order, filed SLP(C) No. 28886 of 2016 for interim measures where the Supreme Court passed an order dated 20.03.2017 allowing the students to appear for the examinations but withholding the publishing of their results.
The review petitioners appeared and cleared the First Year of MBBS Examination. However, the College suspended the classes for the second year along with the examination. Writ Petition No.26367 of 2019 was filed before the Allahabad High Court against the MCI order which was dismissed with the liberty to approach Supreme Court. The Writ Petition (Civil) No.1287 of 2019 filed before the Supreme Court was also dismissed with the liberty to file an application for intervention in Pending Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos. 3103731038 of 2016 filed by the Glocal Medical College on the same matter. By order of the Supreme Court dated 06.10.2020 the Review Petition was listed.
The review petitioners submitted that they had duly qualified the NEET examinations and as they have cleared 1st and 2nd year of MBBS, it would not be in the interest of justice to discharge them at this point of time.
The bench remarked:
“It is difficult to appreciate as to how the results of the students were declared for the 1st year MBBS examination, how they were admitted in the 2nd year MBBS course and how they cleared the 2nd year MBBS examination, despite the fact that MCI had discharged the students vide order dated 27.1.2017.”
The respondent contended that review petitioners were admitted through the backdoor and their admission was the result of collusion between the review petitioners and Glocal Medical College. The conduction of private counselling despite subsisting Government Notification was not permissible in law and did not entitle them for equitable relief.
The court observed that the Notification of State of UP was held valid by the Allahabad High Court. The court also referred to Modern Dental College and Research Centre and Ors. v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors. — (2016) 7 SCC 353, where Apex Court had upheld the Centralized Counselling Process for MBBS/BDS admissions. In State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Jainarayan Chouksey and Ors — (2016) 9 SCC 412, It was held:
“If any counselling has been done by any college or university and any admission to any medical seat has been given so far, such admission shall stand cancelled forthwith and admission shall be given only as per centralized counselling done by the State Government.”
As far as grounds of sympathy have been raised the bench referred to the case which is similar to the present case, Mahatma Gandhi University and Anr Vs. GIS Jose and Ors — (2008) 17 SCC 611 where it was held:
“The misplaced sympathies should not have been shown in total breach of the rules. In our opinion, that is precisely what has happened. Such a course was disapproved by this Court in CBSE v. Sheena Peethambaran [(2003) 7 SCC 719]. In para 6 of the judgment, this Court observed as follows: (SCC p. 724)
“This Court has on several occasions earlier deprecated the practice of permitting the students to pursue their studies and to appear in the examination under the interim orders passed in the petitions. In most of such cases, it is ultimately pleaded that since the course was over or the result had been declared, the matter deserves to be considered sympathetically. It results in very awkward and difficult situations. Rules stare straight into the face of the plea of sympathy and concessions, against the legal provisions.”
The court in conclusion held that it was not possible to consider the case of the petitioner sympathetically and as their admissions were per se illegal. Therefore, review petitions were dismissed for want of merit.
Vaibhav Karadale | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL