Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Prakash Shrivastava and Shailendra Shukla, JJ., dismissed a writ petition which was filed praying for a direction to permit the petitioner to take part in counselling session for admission in MBBS course.

The petitioner had appeared in NEET 2020 Examination and had scored 600 marks with 98.52364 percentile by securing 1995 Rank in All India Merit. The time schedule for online registration by the eligible candidates on M.P. Online Portal was between 1-11-2020 to 10-11-2020. According to the petitioner, on 3-11-2020 the petitioner had tried, but there was failure of link, therefore, petitioner could not register for counselling and he kept on unsuccessfully trying till 10-11-2020. After which he had contacted the respondents and made a prayer for opening the link for registration, but the same was not accepted.

The counsel for the respondent, Pushyamitra Bhargava with Devashish Dubey submitted that the petitioner had created his profile on 3rd November, but thereafter he had not made any attempt to register himself. They further submitted that even the intimation through SMS was sent to the petitioner and there was no failure of link because thousands of students had registered themselves without any complaint and that the petitioner had got admission in BDS Course through all India quota, therefore, he did not take steps to register himself in M.P. Online counselling and now after expiry of time limit he was trying for reopening of the link which was not permissible.

The Court after perusing all the records observed that petitioner had created a profile for the first time on 3-11-2020 and thereafter nothing further was done. The Court further explained that in terms of Rule 6 of Madhya Pradesh Niji Vyavasyik (Pravesh Ka Viniyaman Evam Shulk Ka Nirdharan) Adhiniyam, 2007 as amended, it was necessary for the candidate to get himself registered for counselling within the time limit and thereafter no change was permissible and after the second round of counselling the registration will be opened again for Mop Up round in which the applicants not registered earlier could also get themselves register.

The Court considered the judgments of the Supreme Court provided by the respondent in Medical Council of India v. Madhu Singh, (2002) 7 SCC 258, Mridul Dhar v. Union of India, (2005) 2 SCC 65 and Priya Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2012) 7 SCC 433 and held that petitioner was not entitled to issuance of a direction to the respondents to open the link for his registration in the counselling, however, petitioner would be entitled to register himself as per Rule 6 when the registration opens for mop up round. The Court dismissed the appeal.[Naman Porwal v. State of MP,  2020 SCC OnLine MP 2756, decided on 27-11-2020]

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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J., constituted a committee to finalize the process in regard to the issuance of digital degree certificates for the students of Delhi University while directing the same Bench also observed that,

Obtaining a degree, which should have been a cause of celebration, has been turned into a complete nightmare for all these doctors who ought to have been busy rendering medical services during the pandemic.

Petitions filed were with the intent to reflect upon the sorry state of affairs at the Delhi University. Petitioners are all doctors and graduated their MBBS course in the year 2018 and 2019 and yet have been struggling to get their original degree certificates.

After failed approaches to the University, petitioners have reached out to the Court.

In an earlier petition, Court had observed that DU ought to make alternative arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic for issuance of digital certificates, digital mark sheets and digital transcripts online along with digital signatures and security features.

Reason cited by DU for delay in issuance of the degree certificate was non-availability of paper and the fact that DU’s contract with the printer had expired.

Further, it was observed that Court was informed that steps were being taken for printing the degree certificates in an expedited manner. Despite this being the position, the tender for printing degree certificates was not finalized and it was only yesterday i.e., 3rd August, 2020 that the tender was opened. 

In an affidavit it has been informed to the Court that a Committee has been formed for looking after the security of sensitive data of academic awards, manpower requirement, University revenue, etc. 

“…looking at the urgency for the degree of the petitioners specially the medical doctors/professionals who have already completed their degree from University of Delhi and also other urgent specific cases, the University will initiate measures so that their degree can be delivered to them on priority basis and for that purpose the related data shall be given to the Digilocker to generate their digital degree.

Further, the University will develop a system to address such type of cases in a time bound manner so that degree certificate can be provided digitally.”

Insofar as Digilocker is concerned, the Court is informed that DU has registered on Digilocker only yesterday i.e., 3-08-2020.

Bench observed that despite the sufficient time being made available to the Delhi University, it is clear that adequate steps have not yet been taken to set up the process for issuance of digital degree certificates.

There is a completely callous attitude being reflected towards the plight of students.

Further, an affidavit filed by DU is lacking in several respects – in the name of the portal, the link to the portal, the form to be filled for obtaining the digital degree-certificate and is not providing a sample of the degree certificate to be issued.

Obtaining a degree, which should have been a cause of celebration, has been turned into a complete nightmare for all these doctors who ought to have been busy rendering medical services during the pandemic.

Hence in view of the above, Court constituted a Committee, which shall finalise the following:

a) The online link on the DU portal where the students can put in applications for issuance of their digital degree certificates. Alternatively, an e-mail address shall be provided where the Petitioners and similarly placed candidates can write an e-mail to obtain their degree certificates;

b) The timeline after receipt of the said email for verification and issuance of the degree certificate with the digital signature;

c) Template for the degree certificate to be issued by email;

d) Official to be responsible for affixing the digital signature and issuance of the same;

e) A sample degree certificate in favour of one of the Petitioners, duly signed with the digital signature, shall also be generated;

f) Timelines for transmission of past data to Digilocker from DU;

g) Timelines for transmission of data periodically to Digilocker so that students can easily access their certificates, transcripts, mark sheets, awards, etc.

Status report to be submitted on 07-08-2020 and matter for hearing is to be listed on the same date. [Dr Akshita Khosla v. University of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 926, decided on 04-08-2020]

Also Read:

Del HC | “No reason why DU should not adopt technically advanced methods”; Court suggests DU to issue degree certificates online through email

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A Division Bench of S.C. Sharma and Shailendra Shukla, JJ., dismissed the writ petition filed by the petitioner as the forensic laboratory report clearly states that the petitioner did not appear for the examination instead an impersonator had appeared in the PMT examination hence the admission to the petitioner stands declined.

The factual matrix of the instant case was that the petitioner had completed his five years medical education (MBBS Course) from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore and the respondents have not issued mark sheet, degree as well as internship completion certificate to the petitioner even after completion of his MBBS Course and completion of rotatory internship. The petitioner had earlier approached this Court by filing another petition, wherein liberty was granted to the respondents to take appropriate action in the matter after receiving the Forensic Laboratory report. The petitioner has further stated that a favourable report was submitted in case of the petitioner and as nothing was being done in the matter and his suspension was not revoked hence the present petition. This Court, therefore, had directed the State Government as well as the CBI to file a reply. The CBI stated in its reply that the Central of Bureau of Investigation was directed to conduct an investigation in respect of 72 cases relating to VYAPAM Scam and in the case of the petitioner a report was received from the Forensic Science Laboratory, Bhopal / Delhi. In the report, it was stated that the petitioner did not appear in the written examination of PMT 2009. The CBI further stated that some impersonator appeared in the PMT examination and the matter is still under investigation.

In view of the above and in light of the forensic report, this Court did not find any reasons to allow this petition and declined the admission to the petitioner.[Pushpendra Singh Gurjar v. Medical Education Department, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 2146, decided on 20-08-2019]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the matter where the appellants had challenged the order cancelling the admissions to Medical Institutes in the wake of the VYAPAM Scam and had sought for direction allowing them to complete their education to satisfy the demands of justice as the future of 634 students was at stakes, the 3-judge bench of J.S. Khehar, CJ and Kurian Joseph and Arun Mishra, JJ said that the actions of the appellants, are founded on unacceptable behaviour, and in complete breach of the rule of law and hence, refused to invoke Article 142 of the Constitution.

The present controversy arose after the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board cancelled the results of the appellants admitted to the MBBS course during the years 2008 to 2012, on the ground that the appellants had gained admission to the course, by resorting to unfair means, during the Pre-Medical Test. The manipulation by which the appellants obtained admission involved, not only a breach in the computer system, whereby roll numbers were allotted to the appellants, to effectuate their plans. It also involved the procurement of meritorious candidates/persons, who would assist them, in answering the questions in the Pre-Medical Test. The appellants’ position, next to the concerned helper, at the examination, was also based on further computer interpolations. Not only were the seating plans distorted for achieving the purpose, even the institutions where the appellants were to take the Pre-Medical Test, were arranged in a manner, as would suit the appellants, again by a similar process of computer falsification.

On 12.05.2016, the bench of J. Chelameswar and A.M. Sapre, JJ had given a split decision and had placed the matter before the Chief Justice of India. Chelameswar, J was of the view that the knowledge of the appellants would be simply rendered useless for the society in the sense their knowledge cannot be utilized for the welfare of the society, said that the appellants be allowed to complete their education. Sapre, J, on the other hand, said that grant of any equitable relief may be construed as awarding premium to the appellants of what they did.

Agreeing with the view taken by Sapre, J, the Court said that the actions of the appellants constitute acts of deceit, invading into a righteous social order. Rejecting the argument that individual benefits, that may be drawn by the appellants, may be drastically curtailed, and their academic pursuit be regularised, for societal benefit, the Court said that national character cannot be sacrificed for benefits – individual or societal. It was held that even the trivialist act of wrong doing, based on a singular act of fraud, cannot be countenanced, in the name of justice. The present case, unfolds a mass fraud. The course suggested, if accepted, would not only be imprudent, but would also be irresponsible. It would encourage others, to follow the same course. The bench said that “If we desire to build a nation on the touchstone of ethics and character, and if our determined goal is to build a nation where only the rule of law prevails, then we cannot accept the claim of the appellants, for the suggested societal gains.” [Nidhi Kaim v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 123, decided on 13.02.17]