The Punjab government’s failure to timely justify its June 16 decision barring Adesh University, Bathinda, from conducting counselling for 150 MBBS and 100 BDS seats, on Monday resulted in the Punjab and Haryana high court allowing the varsity to go ahead with ‘provisional counselling’ before June 25.
When the university’s petition came up for hearing before the vacation court headed by justice Navita Singh on Monday, the state government’s counsel sought a week’s time to file reply on the notice issued to it by the court on June 19. But the court said, “What about university’s counselling? As per Supreme Court directions, the first round of counselling has to be completed by June 25 and now two days are left.” On this, the state government counsel failed to satisfy the court.
“In such an event the request of the learned counsel for the petitioner (university) to permit provisional counselling is allowed. The petitioner is permitted to hold provisional counselling till June 25 in the courses (MBBS and BDS) mentioned in the petition, making it clear that this shall be provisional counselling admission, which shall be subject to the outcome of the writ petition,” ordered justice Navita Singh.
Posting the case for next hearing on July 8, the court directed the state government to file its detailed reply.
Now since as per the state government’s decision, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, was directed to conduct counselling (starting June 21) also for the institutes affiliated to Adesh University, it would become void after Monday’s high court order. As per the original schedule, Adesh University was to conduct counselling for the 2014-15 session on June 17 and 18.
Arguing for the petitioner varsity, senior advocate KS Sidhu submitted, “There is an earlier order of the high court in our case. It says we have right to do admissions and right to fix the fee. Also, we have taken requisite permissions from the state as well as the UGC and no objections were raised by anyone.”
HT report and after
It was after the Hindustan Times report, ‘At Rs. 40 lakh per MBBS seat, Adesh varsity charges 20-fold’ (June 11) that the Punjab government had on June 16 directed the university to send its clarification about charging Rs. 40 lakh per MBBS seat. The state government had also barred the university from conducting independent counselling and the same was decided to be done by BFUHS, Faridkot, centrally for all medical institutions across the state.
HT had highlighted that as per the state government rules, students should be charged Rs. 2.2 lakh as first-year tuition fee at the time of admission and the total five-year course fee should be Rs. 13.42 lakh.
The Adesh University, on June 19, had approached the high court challenging the state government’s decision on the grounds that since the university is totally autonomous body and is not receiving any aid from the state government, the latter had no right to interfere in its admission process.
Raising questions on the news report, the university had submitted that it was only on the basis of this report that the state government took the decision without giving it an opportunity to put up its case.