Split SC verdict makes future of Vyapam students uncertain
Justice J Chelameswar and Justice AM Sapre of the Supreme Court, which is hearing the corruption case, agreed with the board’s decision to cancel the 634 admissions. But they ruled differently on the students’ future.india Updated: May 16, 2016 00:32 IST
The jury is out on how to punish students from Madhya Pradesh who were admitted to medical colleges between 2007 and 2012 by the state’s corruption-riddled admission and recruitment authority.
The students had cleared the entrance exam for medical colleges conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), better known as Vyapam. The board is being investigated for its multi-layered, multi-crore college admission and recruitment scam that involves politicians, officials and businessmen.
Justice J Chelameswar and Justice AM Sapre of the Supreme Court, which is hearing the corruption case, agreed with the board’s decision to cancel the 634 admissions. But they ruled differently on the students’ future.
Justice Chelameswar allowed them to complete their study, provided they serve the nation for five years without salary. But colleague Justice Sapre said the students should be barred in view of the nature of the controversy.
The split verdict means it will be referred to the chief justice to constitute a bench of three judges for hearing the case.
The Vyapam scam jolted the BJP government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan in 2015 after 34 people linked to the case died mysteriously. Congress leaders accused the chief minister and his wife of being involved in the scam. The CBI took over the probe in July 2015 following a directive from the top court.
In the 63-page verdict, Justice Chelameswar said it will not be prudent to let the students waste the knowledge they have acquired so far. He held they were not criminals but juveniles when the incident happened.
But Justice Sapre disagreed. “Once the cancellation of the examination results is upheld as being just, legal and proper, then its natural consequence must ensue.”