Giving respite to nearly two dozen students admitted to the MBBS and BDS courses in various medical colleges across Punjab under the special management quota, the Punjab and Haryana high court has quashed the orders of the Medical Council of India (MCI) to withdraw such admissions.
In a recent order, justice K Kannan ruled that the admissions had taken place in accordance with the prospectus, which was tenable and not contrary to the regulations (of MCI).
These students were admitted in 2011-12 against the vacant seats in the NRI quota from among those who had not qualified the Pre-Medical Entrance Test (PMET) but had basic qualification for the course.
Later, the MCI did not approve of the admissions arguing that for qualifying, the candidates must have scored minimum 50% marks in PMET. Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, under which these colleges fall, had then ordered the colleges to withdraw these admissions. Following this, the students had moved the court challenging the MCI order.
Petitioners' counsels in the court argued that the argument of the MCI was not tenable as the admissions were done against spilt-over seats for NRIs which were not exhausted by enough number of eligible NRI candidates and fell under a different category.
They quoted the prospectus which stated that any seats remaining vacant under the NRI quota till last date of admission in state colleges would go to the general pool and in private colleges would go to the special management/minority quota. "Under special management quota seats, the first priority shall be given to PMET ranking, and residual seats, if any, shall be filled in accordance with inter-se merit of eligible candidates," they contended, further arguing that the entire exercise of filling up the seats was carried out in a transparent manner.
While delivering the judgment, justice Kannan said, "I see no conflict at all, for a state has the right to regulate its admission on the basis of norms laid down under the prospectus, which was not expressly in conflict with any of the university regulations."
The court also pointed out that it was not as if the MCI did not know the stipulation in the prospectus allowing for the vacant spilt-over seats of NRIs to be filled up by candidates from the general category.
The MCI also did not have a clear answer as to why it allowed admissions under the same category in 2007, which the petitioners' counsels pointed out in the course of the arguments. "It cannot be stated to be a wrong which was not noticed (admissions done in 2007 under the category). It was, on the other hand, expressly brought up for consideration and the denial of admission originally made to those candidates was later withdrawn (by the MCI) and they were allowed to continue the course," the court stated, while quashing the writs filed by the MCI and BFUHS and allowing students, who are now in the third year of their course, to take the examinations.
HC gives respite to nearly two dozen students admitted to MBBS/BDS in Punjab medical colleges under special management quota
The students were admitted in 2011-12 against vacant seats in NRI quota from among those who had not qualified PMET but had basic qualification for the course
MCI did not approve of the admissions arguing the candidates did not possess required 50% marks in PMET qualifying examination
The court rules that the admissions had taken place in accordance with the prospectus which was not contrary to regulations