Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: A Division Bench of Mohammad Rafiq, CJ and Debabrata Dash, J. rejected the prayer of the petitioner on account of concealment of material facts.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner after completing her MBBS got herself registered under the Odisha Council of Medical Registration, Bhubaneshwar and joined as a tutor on contract basis at PHC (N) Biridi from 2014-2015 and joined as a tutor on contract basis in SLNMCH, Koraput from 2017- 2019 and later she joined in regular service in 2019 at Gumma Gajpati where she got transferred again to SLNMCH, Koraput. Thereafter the petitioner availed leave for September 2019 to January 2020 and resumed duty on 21-01-2020.

Counsel P. R Singh , L.N Rayatsingh, A.K Rout and S. K Dwivedy on behalf of the petitioners submitted that the petitioner applied for NEET PG 2020 as an in service candidate and was declared successful and as she is an in service candidate she deserves to get all the benefits with regards to extra weightage, percentage increase benefit etc. It was further submitted that as she verified her documents on time but was not able to present her service certificate on time due to lockdown she could not avail the benefits. It was prayed that she be allowed to appear for second round of counseling as an in service candidate only.

Counsel M.S Sahoo and R.C. Mohanty on behalf of the respondents stated that the petitioner applied for the course as a direct candidate and not as an in service candidate. He also submitted that the petitioner has concealed material facts in order to gain in service benefits which are bad in the eyes of law.

Court on hearing both the parties held that as the petitioner appeared for counseling in the first phase as a direct candidate the prayer to allow her to appear as an in service candidate for second round of counseling stands unjustified. It was further held that as the petitioner has not approached the court with clean hands which is the underlying principle for fair adjudication; the petitioner is not entitled to avail any kind of in service candidate benefits.

In view of the above the petition stands disposed off.[Dr Shams Jahan v State of Odisha, 2020 SCC OnLine Ori 543 , decided on 24-07-2020]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The vacation bench of Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant, JJ has refused to grant extension of time to respective medical colleges/deemed universities for carrying out counselling for P.G. courses and has said,

“If we permit violation of schedule and grant extension, we shall be opening a Pandora’s box and the whole purpose of fixing a time schedule and laying down a regime which strictly adheres to time schedule will be defeated.”

The petition filed by Education Promotion Society for India which representing a large number of   educational institutions including medical colleges running post­graduate (P.G.) medical courses that showed concern over the large number of seats in these colleges that are lying vacant. It was argued that there is an acute shortage of doctors in India and, in fact, the Union of India has permitted increase of seats in government medical colleges without increase of infrastructure

“this shows that the intention of the State is to ensure that more and more doctors pass out and treat the patients.”

The petitioner also cited various orders of this Court where extension of time was granted to medical colleges for carrying out counselling. On this the Court said,

“In this case the petitioners want a general extension of time not on account of any particular difficulty faced by any individual college or university but generally on the ground that a large number of seats for the P.G. courses are lying vacant.”

Taking judicial notice of the fact that every year large number of nonclinical seats remain vacant because many graduate doctors do not want to do post­graduation in non­clinical subjects, the Court said,

“Merely because the seats are lying vacant, in our view, is not a ground to grant extension of time and grant further opportunity to fill up vacant seats. The schedule must be followed.”

[Education Promotion Society for India v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 780, decided on 21.06.2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of T. Raja, J. disposed of a writ petition by allowing a ‘child prodigy’ of 16 years old to take part in the counselling for the BAMS Course, as in accordance to the old notification in regard to the admission eligibility, petitioner was not included for the same.

In the present case, the purpose of filing this petition was that of the declaration of Clause 3 of the prospectus issued by respondents for admission to BSMS/BAMS/BNYS/BUMS/BHMS courses as unconstitutional and ultra vires and further a direction to the respondents to include petitioner’s name in merit list for UG courses in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy.

It was submitted by amicus curiae Mr R. Thiagarjan that the petitioner has passed HSE and applied for the above-stated course. Petitioner has been a meritorious student and recited 1330 thirukurals while studying in LKG and was also awarded a certificate by “Deiveeka Sidhanta Ilakiya Mandram”. In addition to this, petitioner had received many certificates and awards. With the stated credentials, petitioner aspired to get admission in any one of the courses offered by respondent and had scored 157.25 cut off marks as per the Clause 10 of the prospectus. Amicus curiae stated that the marks scored by the petitioner had put his rank between 1648-1666 but unfortunately due to petitioner’s age not being 17, she was not considered.

Learned amicus curiae had also relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in Rajiv Kapoor v. State of Haryana, (2000) 9 SCC 115, wherein it was held that:

“when the eligibility criteria is wrongly fixed in the prospectus and contrary to the Rule, the candidate cannot be rejected based on the condition mentioned in the prospectus, when that the candidate comply with other eligibility Rules.”

Thus, the High Court found no impediment on the basis of the latest amended notification as pointed out by the amicus curiae to allow the petitioner to take part in the counselling. The Court stated that learned amicus curiae has placed the rules and criteria for admission along with the decision of Supreme Court, the Court placed its appreciation for his immediate response and assistance to the Court. [Yazhesy Tha v. Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, WP No. 29474 of 2018, Order dated 22-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Siddharth Mridul J., addressed a petition concerning a NEET UG, 2018 candidate, aggrieved during the counselling session of the said examination.

Petitioner was willing to participate in the counselling session of NEET UG, 2018 on attaining an all India rank of 24392 and had registered for the ‘All India Counselling’ by opting for ‘All India Quota’ seats and ‘Central University Quota’ seats, but couldn’t be granted admission on account of her all India merit.

The grievance of the petitioner is that due to her limiting the options at the time of online registration in ‘All India Quota’ and ‘Central University Quota’ she was barred to register in the second round of counselling under the category of ‘Deemed Universities’.  Also, it has been stated that the option of resetting was also exhausted by the petitioner which left her with no choice on registering for the second counselling under the category of ‘Deemed Universities’.

The High Court on taking into consideration the circumstances and all the other aspects of the issue and placing reliance on Salem Advocate Bar Association, T.N. v. Union of India, (2005) 6 SCC 344, stated that “rules or procedure is the handmaid of justice and not its mistress.” Therefore, in the special circumstances of the case, the Court directed the respondent that in the interest of justice the petitioner shall be permitted to register herself afresh for the ‘Deemed Universities’ category as there is no bar for a meritorious student to be considered for admission. [Jasmeen Kaur v. Union of India,2018 SCC OnLine Del 9778, decided on 10-07-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Vacation Bench of UU Lalit and Deepak Gupta JJ. has passed an order directing National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) to award compensatory marks to candidates who lost time during this year’s Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) due to technical glitches by applying the formula suggested by V. Giri, learned Senior Advocate for Respondents 2&3, NUALS and core committee CLAT 2018 respectively, and include the qualified students in the second round of counselling. Compensatory marks would be awarded after taking note of data of total correct and incorrect answers given by the candidate during the online test.

However, the Court made clear that any seat allocation made pursuant to the first round of counselling shall not be affected by the revision of results. The Court said that a candidate who improves upon his score after the publication of revised results and thereby becomes eligible for admission to another NLU will not lose the fee deposited with the earlier NLU. This revision has to be undertaken by June 15 and the revised results have to be published on CLAT website by June 16.

Earlier, on June 6, the court had refused to stay the counselling process and had said that any steps in the matter would be subject to further orders of the apex court. The apex court had on June 11  refused to order a “re-test” of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2018 or stop the counselling process. [Disha Panchal v. Union of India,  2018 SCC OnLine SC 603, order dated 13-06-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The bench of Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar, JJ directed the State of Gujarat to give 50 per cent reservation to the in-service candidates for admission to post-graduate medical diploma courses as per the regulations of the Medical Council of India. The reservation is to be granted in the second round of counselling, starting tomorrow for admissions in PG courses. The Court also asked the State Government to define remote rural or difficult areas in which the in-service medical officers will be working.

The in-service medical candidates had challenged the State’s order of granting only 25 per cent reservation to the in-service candidates for admission in PG medical diploma courses. The candidates had pleaded that as per regulation VII of the MCI Regulations, 2000, it is mandatory for the state to reserve 50 per cent of the total seats of government medical college in Post Graduate Diploma Courses for medical officers in the government service, who has served at least 3 years in remote and/or difficult areas.

The Gujarat High Court had, on 05.05.2017, dismissed the petition of in-service medical petitioners on the ground that it was not mandatory for the State Government to follow the rules and regulations issued by the Medical Council of India, particularly the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000.

Source: PTI

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the issue pertaining to the admission of students in MBBS/BDS courses in the State of Maharashtra, the Court, exercising of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, vacated the Bombay High Court’s order where the decision taken by the Central Government/State Government that the centralised counselling shall be conducted by the State Government, was stayed. However, it was clarified that the vacation of the stay will not disturb the admissions already made by the respondent universities keeping in view that respondents are deemed universities.

Taking into note the fact that the first counselling had already been completed, the bench of Dr. A.K. Sikri and L. Nageswara Rao, JJ said that insofar as second or third counselling is concerned, that shall be a joint exercise which means that it shall be done by the Committee of the State Government which shall include one representative each from these universities. It would be a centralised counselling for all the deemed universities and not university-wise counselling. In the second or third counselling, students will be taken by making a combined list of those who got themselves registered with the State Government as well as the respondent universities. This shall ensure admission of those who are more meritorious but left out but are interested in taking admission in the respondent universities. In this process, it will also be known as to which students are in fact interested in getting admission to the respondent universities.

It was further held that In order to undertake the counselling, all the admission records of the respondent universities shall be handed over to the State Government/Committee forthwith. Considering the fact that it may not be possible to complete the process of admission by September 30, 2016, the Court extended the time to complete the admission by October 7, 2016.

The decision of centralized counselling was taken vide Letter dated August 09, 2016 issued by the Government of India through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government Resolution dated August 20, 2016 passed by the State of Maharashtra and the consequential Notice dated August 21, 2016 of the State of Maharashtra. [State of Maharashtra v. D.Y. Patil Education Society, CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9835 OF 2016, decided on 28.09.2016]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In order to make the admission process to the Medical Institutions a composite process, the Court directed that admission to all medical seats shall be conducted by centralised counselling only by the State Government of Madhya Pradesh and none else. The 5-judge bench of Anir R. Dave, Dr. A.K. Sikri, R.K. Agrawal, A.K. Goel and R. Banumathi, JJ said that 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 centralised counselling done by the State Government.

The Additional Solicitor General had submitted that the State Government is ready to undertake the entire process afresh and assures that it would be completed by 30th September, 2016 which is the last date for admission. The Court, hence, said that it is a proper course of action inasmuch as it will enable the private institutions to send their representatives at the place of counselling as per the information which may be displayed by the counselling authority forthwith at its website. The Additional Solicitor General had assured the Court that all seats, whether of Government Colleges or the private institutions, shall be filled up and no seat shall remain vacant. [State of Madhya Pradesh v. Jainarayan Chouksey, 2016 SCC Online SC 974,  decided on 22.09.2016]

High Courts

Bombay High Court: Setting aside a State Government circular that prohibited counselling and mediation in domestic violence cases without a court order, a bench comprising of Mohit Shah, CJ and RS Dalvi, J. laid down guidelines on how pre-litigation counselling may be conducted by any registered service provider, including NGOs, counsellors and police officers.

The Court was hearing a PIL filed on the basis of a letter written by Dr. Jaya Sagade, a service provider under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act) and a Professor of Law at ILS Law College, Pune. It was contended that the role of the agencies providing counselling and mediation would merely be reduced to “referral” agencies, in case their role was merely restricted to merely informing the aggrieved woman of her rights and that their experience and expertise in the field would be whittled down to clerical work which cannot be termed as “counseling”.

Dismissing the State’s contention that the function of service providers are limited to the services enumerated in Section 10 of the DV Act, the Court observed that such an interpretation would be to read a socially beneficent legislation without regard to the objective it seeks to serve and the strides it seeks to make for domestic peace and harmony in the country, and thereby declared the circular to be discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable. The Court further stated that a victim must be informed about her right to choose her course of action and be guided about her legal rights under the Act and there shall be no pressure  upon her to settle her claim or grievance. Dr. Jaya Sagade vs. State of Maharashtra, 2015 SCC OnLine Bom 4777, decided on September 4, 2015