SC imposes ₹5 crore fine on UP college, forms trust to help needy students
- The Supreme Court on Wednesday imposed a hefty fine of ₹five crore on a medical college in Uttar Pradesh for illegally admitting MBBS students.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday imposed a hefty fine of ₹five crore on a medical college in Uttar Pradesh for illegally admitting MBBS students and directed the amount to be utilised for helping needy students get admission into UP’s medical colleges.
The college run by Saraswati Educational Charitable Trust had approached the Court against a notice issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) on September 29, 2017 asking the college to discharge 132 students in the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course in 2017. The college had admitted these students on its own without following the MCI Regulations that required candidates to be admitted from the list recommended by the Director General Medical Education. On the other hand, the MBBS students too were before the Court for permission to continue their course.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhatt struck a balance by penalizing the college while saving the future of the students. The bench directed the college to deposit ₹five crore with the Supreme Court Registry within eight weeks. “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,” observed the bench, adding that this amount should not be recovered from students in any manner.
As regards the 132 students, the bench noted, “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.” Looking into the peculiar facts, as a one-time exception, the bench allowed the students to complete their course on the condition that they will perform community service for two years after completion of their course. The Court directed the affiliated University to hold the second year examinations for 126 students (as six failed in first year) and declare results.
The National Medical Commission, which has now replaced MCI, was directed to work out modalities of the community service to be undertaken by the students. Dealing with the ₹five crore fine, the bench asked the Commission to form a trust with three other members - the Accountant General of Uttar Pradesh, an eminent educationist and a representative of the Uttar Pradesh government.
“The Trust constituted to manage the amount of rupees five crores…. shall extend financial assistance to needy students seeking admission to medical colleges in the State of Uttar Pradesh,” the bench said.
The college, formed in 2016, had an intake of 150 seats in MBBS stream and was allowed to admit students in 2017 by an interim order passed by the Supreme Court in a separate proceeding. The college was allowed to fill seats out of the list provided by Director General Medical Education (DGME) before September 5, 2017. The DGME sent a list of 150 students of which 18 took admission. To fill the remaining seats before the deadline set by Court, the college undertook admissions on its own. This was held to be a violation of Regulation 5A of MCI Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997.
The bench said, “The College ought not to have admitted 132 students by conducting a selection on its own without requesting the DGME (Respondent 3) to send more candidates….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 September 5, 2017 and admitted 132 students in four hours.”
The Court directed the matter to be listed after three months. By the next date, the National Medical Commission will submit an action taken report along with the copy of trust deed created as per the Court’s order.