In Civil Appeals preferred against the common judgment of Madras High Court in a matter pertaining to cancellation of admission to MBBS course by a college without fault on the part of candidates, the Supreme Court Division Bench comprising of Justices C. Nagappan and M.Y. Eqbal held that the aggrieved candidates can be awarded compensation, but not granted admission.
The appellants submitted application for admission to M.B.B.S. Course to the Consortium of Tamil Nadu Private Professional Colleges Association, affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University and both of them had preferred the same Private Medical College as their first choice. The appellants Nihaal Ahamed and Gayathri were placed in Rank No. 731 and Rank No. 551 respectively in the merit list.
According to them, they went to the Medical College on 24.9.2013 and sought admission and they were directed to come after 26.9.2013. Both of them made complaints against Medical College to the Monitoring Committee and the Committee called for remarks from the Medical College. Meanwhile the Medical College drafted letters dated 24.9.2013 addressed to both the appellants which were posted on 29.9.2013 directing them to appear for counselling on 26.9.2013. The appellants received the said letters on 1.10.2013 and 30.9.2013 respectively and immediately approached Medical College to allot seats and same was refused on the ground that they did not approach them within the stipulated time.
Both the appellants filed independent writ petitions on the file of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court seeking for issuance of writ of mandamus to direct the Medical College to admit them in the first year M.B.B.S. Course for the academic year 2013-14 in their college. Learned Single Judge heard both the writ petitions and by common order held that the appellants’ were not entitled for admission in the M.B.B.S. Course and on the other hand they are each entitled to a sum of Rs. 3 lakhs as compensation payable by the Medical College within a period of 8 weeks.
Challenging the denial of relief of admission, both the appellants preferred independent writ appeals and challenging the grant of compensation, the respondent-Medical College preferred two writ appeals. The Division Bench affirmed the view of the Single Judge that the appellants were not entitled for the admission in the M.B.B.S Course and dismissed the writ appeals preferred by them. It further held that the appellants are not entitled for compensation and allowed the writ appeals preferred by the Medical College. Aggrieved by the same, appellants preferred appeals before the Supreme Court.
The appellants contended that they approached the respondent-Medical College on 24.9.2013 itself and the college with a malafide intention directed them to come after 26.9.2013 and on the complaint lodged by the appellants with the Monitoring Committee, in order to wriggle out, the respondent-Medical college drafted ante dated letters dated 24.9.2013 and posted it calling upon the appellants to appear for counselling at a prior date and in fact the college had given admission to students who had secured lesser marks than that of the appellants.
Medical College contended that the appellants were orally told on 24.9.2013 to report on 26.9.2013 in the college and the call letters dated 24.9.2013 were also sent and since they were not present in the college on 26.9.2013, the vacancies were filled up according to merit list and there is no denial of admission to them.
The Court reiterated its earlier decision in Jasmine Kaur’s case which laid down the principle that “if a candidate is not selected during a particular academic year due to the fault of the institutions/authorities and in this process if the seats are filled up and the scope for granting admission is lost due to eclipse of time schedule, then under such circumstances, the candidate should not be victimized for no fault of his/her and the court may consider grant of appropriate compensation to offset the loss caused, if any.”
“They can be awarded compensation, but not granted admission because of lapse of time,” said the Supreme Court. It also upheld the award of 3 lakh as compensation to two students. The bench set aside the division bench's verdict rejecting payment of compensation and directed the college to pay the compensation within eight weeks.
Read the Judgment here.