2 July 2023 6:00 AM GMT
The Madras High Court has directed Sri Muthukumaran Medical College Hospital and Research Institute to deposit 2.76 crore rupees, that it allegedly collected as capitation fees/donation from students who were admitted following due procedure, into a joint account of authorities. The court was hearing a plea filed by seven students against an order of the Tamil Nadu Dr....
The Madras High Court has directed Sri Muthukumaran Medical College Hospital and Research Institute to deposit 2.76 crore rupees, that it allegedly collected as capitation fees/donation from students who were admitted following due procedure, into a joint account of authorities.
The court was hearing a plea filed by seven students against an order of the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University asking the institute to discharge nine students including the petitioners from pursuing the MBBS degree course.
Justice R Suresh Kumar directed the college to open a separate bank account jointly in the name of the Secretary of Selection Committee as well as the Registrar of the University so that it can be used for giving scholarships to meritorious students admitted to the first year in the 2023-2024 academic year. The court added that the University and the Selection Committee will decide as to whom such benefit shall be given.
“The said amount can be spent towards paying the tuition fee for more meritorious candidates who would be admitted in the I year M.B.B.S. degree course from the academic year 2023-2024 in any Government or Private Colleges in the State of Tamil Nadu till the entire amount is exhausted as a special scholarship,” the court ordered.
The court also observed that if the college refuses to deposit the amount by claiming that they had never received the One Time Payment, the authorities will refer the issue for investigation by the CB-CID police force which shall then take the matter to its logical conclusion.
The court added that since the college had violated the declared law while conducting admission of these students and since the students and their parents had agreed to this setup and paid the huge amount as donation/capitation fee, they lost their right to get back the amount.
“Though merit has not been given a go by in making the admission of these petitioners as held hereinabove, since the method adopted by the third respondent College is in violation of the declared law and for securing admissions on behalf of these petitioners huge amount has been spent or paid as an One Time Payment, which is otherwise called as donation or capitation fee and for such a narrative the petitioners or their parents also had agreed upon, these petitioners and their parents lost their right to get back the said amount i.e., Rs.2,76,00,000/- mentioned hereinabove. That is why, the aforesaid arrangement has been made,” the court said.
In the present case, it was submitted that the petitioner students were admitted into the Institute in stray vacancies on the last date of admission. However, the University denied Hall tickets for these students at the time of their first-year MBBS Examination which led the institute to approach the court. The High Court dismissed the petition after observing that the admissions were made without recourse to the Selection Committee and thus were against the regulation.
The petitioners said that though multiple rounds of litigation were carried out, they were not made a party to any of them even though the High Court had ordered the Institute to implead the students. Further, it was submitted that when an SLP was filed by the students, the Supreme Court gave them the liberty to approach the high court.
The students submitted that they were innocent and had written NEET examinations and had secured rankings which was even comparatively higher than the marks obtained by some students who were allotted seats by the Selection Committee.
On perusing the materials submitted by the petitioners, the court agreed that though the college had admitted these students without consulting the Selection Committee and had thus violated procedure laid down by the Supreme Court in the Dar-us-Slam Educational Trust v MCI case, merit had not been given a complete go by and thus their admission need not be hindered.
“It is also to be noted that these students have completed their two years course and at this juncture if they are sent out, that would certainly affect the very career of these students and they have comparatively secured slightly higher marks than considerable number of students, who were able to secure admission in the relevant academic year, hence, this Court feels that these petitioners / students can continue their course in the third respondent College,” the court said.
Since the college had filled the nine seats without following the procedure , the court directed the college to surrender five seats in its management quota for the academic year 2023-24 which, it said, shall be used as additional seats in the Government quota as a compensatory mechanism.
The court added that National Medical Commission is free to take any action against the college for violating its regulations.
"Since the petitioners are permitted to pursue the course in the 3rd respondent College, the order impugned of the first respondent need not be given effect to," it said.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 181
Counsel for the Petitioners: Mr.R.Viduthalai Senior Counsel for Mr.S.Rajendiran
Counsel for the Respondents: Mr.S.Wilson Standing Counsel, Mr.J.Ravindran, Additional Advocate General Assisted by Ms.M.Sneha, Standing Counsel, Mr.G.Masilamani, Senior Counsel for Mr.M.Vishnu Venkatesh, : Ms.Shubhaanjani Ananth Standing Counsel