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SC strikes down Kerala ordinance on medical admissions

In 2017, the Kerala government had passed an ordinance nullifying the Kerala high court and Supreme Court judgments that set aside admissions made by these private colleges to MBBS courses for the academic year 2016-17.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2018 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kerala government,Kannur Medical College,Karuna Medical College
A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Terming the action of the Kerala government as a “misadventure entrenching upon the field of judcial review,” the Supreme Court has struck down an ordinance passed by the Kerala government regularising the admissions of 180 MBBS students in Kannur Medical College and Karuna Medical College run by the Prestige Educational Trust and the Safe Development Alms Trust.

In 2017, the Kerala government had passed an ordinance nullifying the Kerala high court and Supreme Court judgments that set aside admissions made by these private colleges to MBBS courses for the academic year 2016-17.

Invalidating the ordinance on Wednesday, a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee said, “In case such a power of covering up illegal action is given to the State Government in individual cases of two colleges, the day is not far off when every judgment can be annulled. It is crystal clear in the instant case that the State Government has exceeded its powers and has entrenched upon the field reserved for the judiciary. It could not have nullified the judgment.”

The admissions of 180 students to MBBS course in the two private medical colleges were declared illegal by the high court and Supreme Court on the ground that they were admitted without their having applied online for the course.

The admission supervisory committee (ASC) of professional colleges in Kerala had issued instructions to all medical colleges that MBBS seats should be filled only through an online process. But the two medical colleges flouted the instructions while admitting the 180 students.

The Supreme Court judgment delivered on Wednesday says the ordinance had been brought “to benefit only two colleges and students in question.”

The court ruled that, “It is also apparent that what the State Government has done by way of the impugned Ordinance is not only impermissible and beyond legislative competence, it also has the effect of perpetuating illegality and arbitrariness committed by the colleges in question by not following the mandate of law laid down by the High Court as affirmed by this Court.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 23:30 IST