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]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Court allowed the petition filed by Centre & Medical Council of India (MCI) seeking review of its judgement scrapping the single common entrance test for medical courses. NEET is conducted for admission in MBBS, BDS and postgraduate courses in all medical colleges. The 3-judge bench headed by the then CJI Altamas Kabir along with A.R. Dave and Vikramajit Sen, JJ had scrapped the common entrance test in Christian Medical College, Vellore v. Union of India, (2013) 14 SCC 539. On 21st January, 2016, it was ordered that the review petition be heard by a 5-judge bench which led to the constitution of a bench comprising of A.R. Dave, Dr. A.K. Sikri, R.K. Agrawal, Adarsh K. Goel and R. Banumathi.
The Court was of the opinion that the aforesaid judgment needed reconsideration as the majority view had not taken into consideration some binding precedents and more particularly, there was no discussion among the members of the Bench before pronouncement of the judgment. [Medical Council of India v. Christian Medical College Vellore, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 305, decided on 11.04.2016]

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: The question that arose before the bench of A.R. Dave and Kurian Joseph was that whether recognition is also required for the admission capacity which is increased from time to time or whether permission of the Central Government alone is required for such an increase in the admission capacity in the recognized course, Once a medical qualification granted by a medical institution in India is recognized by the Central Government. Stating that recognition and permission are two different things, the Court held that under the scheme of the Medical Council Act, 1956 (the Act) permission is for the admission capacity and recognition is for the course and the institution. Once a course and an institution is notified in the First Schedule as per Section 11 of the Act as a recognized course and a recognized institution, the admission capacity or its increase in any recognized course needs only the permission of the Central Government as per the scheme under Section 10A of the Act.

In the present case, the petitioner was given the permission to increase it’s seats from 100 to 150 for the academic year 2013-14. However, it’s application seeking increase in seats from 150 to 250 for the academic year 2014-15 was rejected by the Medical Council of India on the ground that the earlier increase from 100 to 150 was not recognized. The Court held that neither the Act nor the Opening of a New or Higher Course of Study or Training (including Post-graduate Course of Study or Training) and Increase of Admission Capacity in any Course or Study or Training (including a Post-graduate Course of Study or Training) Regulations, 2000 did not provide for recognition of the admission capacity in a recognized medical college for a recognized course. Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital v. Union of India, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 692, decided on 06.08.2015

High Courts

Delhi High Court: While dealing with an appeal by the Medical Council of India (MCI), whereby the Order of the Single Judge that declared the Central Government’s decision to reject the applications filed by the petitioners for establishment of a medical college/increase of intake of candidates for the Academic Session 2015-2016 ,on the grounds that the Essentiality Certificate issued by the State Government and the Consent of Affiliation Certificate, issued by the concerned universities were not filed along with the applications, as erroneous, arbitrary and illegal, the Division Bench of G. Rohini, C.J. and R.S. Endlaw,J., emphasized on the sanctity of the time schedule which is required to be met by the applicants for establishment of medical institutions and conducting admissions

In the present case, three institutions filed writ petitions against the Central Government’s decision of rejecting their applications on the ground of incomplete form as per Section 10A of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The required documents were submitted after the cut off date. The Single Judge deviating from the settled position of law that mandates strict adherence to these deadlines, passed the Order in favor of the applicants and directed the Central Government to forward the applications of the petitioners to MCI and that the MCI shall consider the same and make its recommendations within a period of four weeks

The Court  agreed with the contention of senior counsel Vikas Singh, that accepting documents after cut off date would offend Article 14 of the  Constitution. The Court further observed that there is need for additional medical assistance in the country and that the infrastructure created and the investment made by the petitioners for training a significant number of doctors would remain unutilized for one year if their applications for the Academic Session 2015-16 are not considered, but the same cannot be a ground to issue directions at this stage to consider their applications at the fag end of the Schedule fixed for the Academic Year 2015-16, therefore the implementation of the directions issued by the learned Single Judge far behind the statutory time schedule is impracticable and does not serve any public purpose especially when the Academic Year of 2016-17 is about to commence soon. Medical Council of India v. Amma Chandravati Educational & Charitable Trust, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 9245 , decided on 05.05.2015