Saraswati Educational … vs Union Of India on 24 February, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Saraswati Educational … vs Union Of India on 24 February, 2021

Author: L. Nageswara Rao

Bench: Hon’Ble The Justice, L. Nageswara Rao, S. Ravindra Bhat

                                                                             Non-Reportable

                                  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                    CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                                        Writ Petition (C) No.40 of 2018

                         Saraswati Educational Charitable Trust & Anr.
                                                                    .... Petitioners (s)
                                                      Versus

                         Union of India & Ors.
                                                                    …. Respondent (s)
                                                      With

                                        Writ Petition (C) No.291 of 2019


                                               JUDGMENT

L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.

1. Writ Petition (C) No.40 of 2018 has been filed by

Saraswati Educational Charitable Trust challenging the notice

dated 29th September, 2017, issued by the second

Respondent-Medical Council of India by which the Saraswati

Medical College (hereinafter referred to as “the College”) was

directed to discharge 132 out of 150 students admitted in the

first year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)

Signature Not Verified course for the academic year 2017-2018.
Digitally signed by
Madhu Bala
Date: 2021.02.24
16:48:21 IST
Reason:

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2. Writ Petition (C) No.291 of 2019 has been filed by 71

students who have been admitted in first year MBBS course

for the academic year 2017-2018 in Saraswati Medical

College to permit them to continue with their studies and to

direct the Registrar, Uttar Pradesh Medical Council, the

seventh Respondent herein to declare their results of the first

year MBBS course.

3. Saraswati Medical College was established by Saraswati

Educational Charitable Trust in the year 2016. The College

applied for grant of renewal of permission for admission of

150 students for the academic year 2017-2018. An

inspection was conducted in November, 2016 followed by a

second surprise inspection by the assessing team on 21 st and

22nd November, 2016. Renewal of permission was not

granted by an order dated 10 th August, 2017 which was

challenged by the Petitioner in Writ Petition No.515 of 2017

before this Court. This Court by its judgment dated 1 st

September, 2017 directed the Respondents therein to permit

the College to take part in the counselling process for the

year 2017-2018. The cut-off date for completion of

admission in respect of the College was extended till 5 th

September, 2017. The Respondents were directed to make

available students willing to take admission in the College

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through central counselling in order of merit. The Petitioner

No.2 requested the Director General of Medical Education

and Training- Respondent No.3 herein to provide a list of

students from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test

(NEET), 2017 merit list to enable the College to make

admission before 5th September, 2017. An email was sent by

the College to the third Respondent with the same request

for providing the list of students at 6:41 p.m. on 1 st

September, 2017. On 4th September, 2017, the Management

of the College reiterated the request of allotment of students

for admission into first year MBBS course.

4. The third Respondent informed all eligible students

about the order passed by this Court in Writ Petition No.515

of 2017 and asked them to apply/register themselves for

admission to first year MBBS course in the College from 4 th

September, 2017, 6:00 p.m. to 5th September, 2017, 1:00

p.m. 735 students applied/registered within the time

schedule for admission to 150 students in the College. On 5 th

September, 2017, the third Respondent forwarded a list of

150 students on the basis of their merit amongst 735

students. Only 9 out of 150 students reported and

completed their admission formalities by 7:00 p.m. on 5 th

September, 2017, according to the College. A letter was

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written by the College at 7:00 p.m. on 5 th September, 2017 to

the third Respondent requesting the third Respondent to

provide students from the list of 735 students. Without

waiting for a response from the third Respondent, at 7:32

p.m. on 5th September, 2017 the College issued an urgent

notice informing all the 735 candidates who opted for

admission pursuant to the notice issued by third Respondent

on 4th September, 2017 to avail the opportunity of admission

in the College. It was stated in the said notice that

admissions will be made in the order of merit from amongst

735 students and the admissions would be completed by

11:59 p.m. on 5th September, 2017. In the meanwhile, 9

more students from the original list of 150 students sent by

the third Respondent were admitted by the College. The

College filled up 132 seats on 05.09.2017. On receipt of

information about the admission of 132 students by the

Petitioner-College on its own without being recommended by

the third Respondent, the Medical Council of India by a letter

dated 29th September, 2017 directed the Principal, Saraswati

Medical College to discharge the 132 students who were

admitted in violation of the Medical Council of India

Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997

(hereinafter, ‘the Regulations’). This Writ Petition has been

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filed challenging the letter dated 29.09.2017 in which notice

was issued on 25.01.2018. The students continued to study

and were permitted to take the examinations for the first

year MBBS course by the Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj

University, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

5. Thereafter, this Court by an order dated 22th July, 2019

directed the result of the first year MBBS course to be

declared provisionally, subject to the outcome of the Writ

Petition. It was made clear in the said order that the

students shall not claim any equities on the declaration of

the result. I.A. No.14176 of 2021 has been filed by the

students seeking a direction to permit them to appear in the

second year MBBS examinations.

6. We have heard Mr. P.S. Patwalia, Mr. Ranjit Kumar and

Mr. Gaurav Bhatia, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the

College, Mr. Neeraj Kishan Kaul and Mr. Nikhil Nayyar,

learned Senior Counsel, Mr. Trideep Pais, learned counsel for

the students and Mr. Gaurav Sharma, learned counsel for the

Medical Council of India. The contention of the College is

that 132 students were admitted on 5 th September, 2017

from the list of 735 candidates who have applied pursuant to

a notice dated 4th September, 2017, strictly on the basis of

merit amongst those who approached the College under

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extraordinary circumstances. It was argued on behalf of the

College that the third Respondent was lethargic in not

allotting sufficient number of students for admission to first

year MBBS 2017-2018 till 4th September, 2017 though he was

informed about the order passed by this Court on 1 st

September, 2017 itself. On 5 th September, 2017, the third

Respondent allotted only 150 students out of whom initially 9

and thereafter 9 students took admission. The third

Respondent was informed about the fact that only a few

students took admission. However, the third Respondent did

not allot students from the list of 735 students. Having no

other alternative, the College made admissions from the list

of 735 candidates who have applied pursuant to the notice

issued by the third Respondent on 4 th September, 2017. It

was also argued on behalf of the College that the admissions

were based on merit of the candidates who have applied and

till date there is no complaint from any student that he/she

was ignored in spite of being more meritorious than the

students who were admitted.

7. The students pleaded ignorance about any illegality or

irregularity in the matter of their admission to the first year

MBBS course for the year 2017-2018. They responded to the

notice issued by the third Respondent on 4th September,

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2017. They were hopefully waiting for their admission, in

case the 150 students who have been allotted to the College

do not join. Only 18 from the list of 150 students sent by the

third Respondent joined the College. Pursuant to the urgent

notice, they participated in the selection process conducted

by the College and were admitted on the last date fixed by

this Court i.e. 5th September, 2017. As they cannot be held

responsible for any violation of the Regulations, if any, they

request this Court to permit them to complete the course as

they are all NEET qualified candidates and their names were

in the list of 735 students who applied pursuant to the notice

issued by third Respondent on 4th September, 2017.

8. The learned counsel for the Medical Council of India

relied upon Regulation 5 A of the Medical Council Regulations

on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 to argue that all

admissions to the MBBS course shall be on the basis of the

merit list of the NEET. Admissions shall be made from the list

sent by the Director General Medical Education on the basis

of ranking of the students in NEET. The College can make

admissions of students allotted by the Director General

Medical Education. In case students from the list of 150 did

not join before the last date, the College should have

approached this Court for extension of time and for a

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direction to the Director General Medical Education to allot

more students. It was argued on behalf of the Medical

Council of India that the students who were admitted

contrary to the Regulations are not entitled to claim any

equity and the College which acted in blatant violation of the

Regulation is liable to be penalized suitably.

9. Regulation 5 A of the Regulations provides for

counselling for admission to MBBS course in all medical

educational institutions on the basis of merit list of NEET.

According to the said Regulations, no admissions can be

made by the Petitioner-College on its own. (See: Modern

Dental College and Research Centre & Ors. v. State of

Madhya Pradesh & Ors.1 and State of Maharashtra and

Others v. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth and Others 2). By an

order dated 22nd September, 2016 in State of Madhya

Pradesh v. Jainarayan Chouksey & Ors.3, this Court held

that all admissions to medical colleges shall be made only as

per the centralized counselling done by the State

Governments.

10. The College ought not to have admitted 132 students

by conducting a selection on its own without requesting the

1 (2016) 7 SCC 353
2 (2016) 9 SCC 401
3 (2016) 9 SCC 412

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third Respondent to send more candidates. The third

Respondent cannot be blamed for any delay on his part in

carrying out the directions issued by this Court by its order

dated 1st September, 2017 in Writ Petition No.515 of 2017.

The College sent an email to the third Respondent at 6:32

p.m. on 1st September, 2017. Admittedly, 2nd and 3rd

September were not working days. The third Respondent

acted swiftly on 4th September 2017 and sought for

applications from interested students for admission to the

college in the first-year MBBS course. 735 students made

applications. 150 meritorious students out of 735 were

allotted to the College for admission to the first-year MBBS

course for the academic year 2017-2018. Only 9 out of 150

students, according to the College took admission. The third

Respondent cannot be said to have been negligent. On the

other hand, the College ought not to have issued a notice at

7:30 p.m. on 5th September, 2017 and admitted 132 students

in four hours. Admissions were made by the College from

students who have approached the college after 7:30 p.m. on

5th September, 2017. It is very difficult to accept the

submission on behalf of the College that students who were

not in the list of 150 students, sent by the Director General

Medical Education were all waiting for their admission after

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7.30 p.m. on 5th September 2017. We reject the submission

of the College that there was no other alternative, except to

make admission from the list of 735 students who have

applied pursuant to the notice dated 4 th September, 2017

issued by the third Respondent.

11. The students who have secured admission cannot be

said to be innocent as they knew fully well that their names

were not recommended by the Director General Medical

Education. We also do not agree that students and their

parents were not aware that their admissions in College are

contrary to the Regulations. In spite of the letter dated 29 th

September, 2017 issued by the Medical Council of India, the

College did not discharge the students. The said direction

issued by the Medical Council of India was not stayed by this

Court. In spite of this, the students continued their first

year MBBS course and managed to write the first year MBBS

course examinations after being permitted by the University.

Thereafter, they approached this Court for declaration of

their results for the first year MBBS course examinations

which was granted. 6 students out of 132 students failed in

their first year examination. At present, 126 students have

completed their second year MBBS course and are seeking

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permission to appear and write the examination for second

year MBBS.

12. The admission of 132 students in the College for the

academic year 2017-2018 being completely contrary to the

Regulations, the Writ Petitions are liable to be dismissed.

However, taking note of the fact that the students have

completed the second year MBBS course, cancelling their

admissions at this stage would not serve any useful purpose.

The students who joined the College knowing fully well that

their admissions are contrary to the Regulations are directed

to do community service for a period of two years after

completing their MBBS course. The National Medical

Commission shall decide the details and workout the

modalities of the community service to be rendered by the

132 students. The Respondent No.6-University is directed to

conduct the second year MBBS examination for 126 students

admitted in the Petitioner-College and who completed their

second year course at the earliest and declare their results.

They shall be permitted to complete the MBBS course. This

direction is issued only to save the students from losing three

academic years in the peculiar facts and circumstances of

this case and shall not be treated as a precedent.

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13. Being aware of the fact that admissions cannot be

made from students not allotted by the third Respondent, the

College admitted 132 students on its own. Thereafter, the

College permitted the students to continue their studies in

spite of the direction by the Medical Council of India to

discharge the students not being stayed. Intentional violation

of the Regulations by the Petitioner-College while granting

admission to 132 students in the first year MBBS course for

the academic year 2017-2018 cannot be condoned. The

Petitioner-College is directed to deposit an amount of Rupees

Five Crores in the Registry of this Court within a period of 8

weeks from today. The Petitioners are directed not to recover

the amount from the students in any manner whatsoever.

We direct the National Medical Commission to constitute a

Trust which shall include the Accountant General of the State

of Uttar Pradesh, an eminent educationist and a

representative of the State of Uttar Pradesh as Members of

the Trust. The Trust constituted to manage the amount of

Rupees Five Crores to be deposited by the Petitioner-College

shall extend financial assistance to needy students seeking

admission to medical colleges in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

An Action Taken Report along with the copy of the Trust-Deed

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shall be filed by the National Medical Commission within a

period of 12 weeks from today.

14. The Writ Petitions are disposed of with the above

directions.

……………………………J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]

………………………….J
.

[S. RAVINDRA BHAT]

New Delhi,
February 24, 2021.

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