Lamenting over the rapid change of rules and guidelines in relation to admissions to MBBS courses in the country, Madras High Court Bench observed, “Therefore, it appears that the Supreme Court repeatedly fixed time schedules and repeatedly warned statutory authorities not to violate the time schedule, without the fear of being hauled up for contempt. But, quite a few orders passed by various Courts beyond the time schedule fixed by the Supreme Court, were also upheld by the Supreme Court. Therefore, what follows, is that no one knows what the law is and where we stand. Our education in law, appears to be inadequate to understand the law of education.”
Taking a dig at the admissions to medical colleges every year, the Bench said, “Admission to Medical Colleges every year, has become a catastrophe and more the Courts attempt to lay down a law, more the confusion. If children who get admission to Medical Courses in this melee are blessed, those who do not even participate in this race, appear to be more blessed.”
The Court considered the reliefs available before it and directed the petitioners to approach the apex Court for redressal.
The petitioners in the Writ Petitions passed out of Higher Secondary Course in May, 2014 and aspired to get admission to the Government Medical Colleges, as the fee structure in Government Medical Colleges is very affordable. But unfortunately, the petitioners did not have adequate marks to get allotted in the first, second or third phase of Counseling, to Government Medical Colleges. Some of them were allotted to Self-Financing Medical Colleges, but they were not financially sound as to accept such allotment, in view of the fact that even the fee fixed by the Fee Committee was beyond the reach of some of the Writ Petitioners.
In an order delivered in September this year, the Supreme Court, in a Writ Petition filed by Hind Charitable Trust Shekhar Hospital Private Limited, permitted all institutions whose recognition was not renewed for the current year, to admit students, sponsored by the State Government from out of the merit lists maintained by them.
Out of the 5 Colleges in the State of Tamil Nadu, which came up before the Court for the current academic year, only two colleges namely Chennai Medical College and Tagore Medical College chose to avail the benefit of the order of the Supreme Court.
The Selection Committee of the State of Tamil Nadu sponsored a list of 150 students to one Self-financing Medical College by name Tagore Medical College and a list of 150 students to another Self-financing Medical College by name Chennai Medical College and Research Centre, at Trichy. When those two Self-financing Medical Colleges released the list of candidates admitted by them on 30.09.2014, the petitioners found that students who had secured lesser marks had gained admission. Therefore, complaining of a foul play on the part of the State Government and/or the two Self-financing Medical Colleges and alleging violation of the orders of the Supreme Court, dated 18.09.2014, the petitioners came up with the Writ Petitions seeking the issue of Writs of Mandamus to direct the respondents to admit them in any one of these two Self-financing Medical Colleges under the Government Quota for Academic Year 2014-15.
Agreeing that the grievance of the petitioners is justified, the Court observed, “The petitioners in these writ petitions could not accept allotment to Self-financing Institutions in the first three rounds of Counseling held earlier, solely due to their inability to pay so much of fees. Therefore, the Selection Committee ought not to have omitted the names of the petitioners from the merit list. A gross injustice has been done to the petitioners herein by sponsoring the names of less meritorious candidates, on the ground that they had refused allotment earlier.”
The bench agreed that the petitioners may be entitled to relief, provided the relief of admission can be granted within the time schedule. The time schedule had however already passed. It however observed, “But, there is a small hitch. The right of the petitioners herein actually flow out of the order of the Supreme Court in Hind Charitable Trust dated 18.9.2014. All the writ petitioners pitch their claim only on the basis of the decision of the Supreme Court in Hind Charitable Trust. The decision in Hind Charitable Trust came, with the proclaimed object of having more doctors to meet the growing needs of the Society. This object will now stand defeated, if about 84 seats go vacant, despite the orders of the Supreme Court.”
In view of the great challenge posed by the grant of relief, the HC finally directed the petitioners to approach the Supreme Court.
Read the judgment here.