The Supreme Court has taken a serious note of 150 medical students in Bhopal being left in the lurch after permission of a college for admission in the academic session 2017-18 was denied by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The top court has asked the MCI to suggest a solution to thwart the crisis and place on record the details of vacant seats in Madhya Pradesh and adjoining states for the academic session 2017-18.
A vacation bench of justices U U Lalit and Deepak Gupta expressed concern of the situation and wondered as what should be the approach to deal with the matter where the students were allocated seat by the central counselling agency to a particular college, which had later ran into difficulties. "It is not as if the admissions in question were not in fair and transparent manner. On the other hand, the state authorities sent or directed the students to this college. Can the students be now left in the lurch," the bench asked.
During the hearing, advocate Arjun Garg, appearing for the Madhya Pradesh government, said not a single seat was available in any of the medical colleges in the state for the academic session 2017-18. The bench asked Garg on whose instructions he has been making such a statement and warned that if at a later stage, the submission was found to be wrong, it would haul up the official concerned. Garg said he has instructions from additional chief secretary for medical education in the state and named the official as R S Julani.
"The correctness of that statement will certainly be considered but at this stage it must be stated that the status report on record filed on behalf of the state of Madhya Pradesh on May 2, 2018 does not indicate the stand which is now projected on behalf of the state of Madhya Pradesh," it said. It said that the MCI should place its view in the matter and suggest a solution, if any.
"We also direct the MCI to place before us the details as to vacant seats available in colleges in state of Madhya Pradesh and adjoining states for the academic session 2017-2018. The MCI shall file appropriate affidavit within two weeks giving complete details of vacancy situation as indicated above," the bench said. It listed the matter immediately on reopening before the appropriate bench and sought response from Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The top court was hearing a matter related to RKDF Medical College Hospital and Research Centre which was initially accorded approval by the MCI and the Centre to take admissions for MBBS course for academic session 2014-15. However, after the inspection was undertaken by the MCI for the next academic session (2015-2016), no renewal permission was granted and the college was debarred from making any admissions.
The college again was allowed to admit students for academic session 2016-17 but denied permission for academic session 2017-18. However, through an interim order, the apex court granted permission to take admission of 150 students for academic session 2017-18. The entire batch of 150 students was admitted and all admissions were made pursuant to the allocations of seats made by the state authorities through the central counselling agency.
"The facts on record indicate that the renewal permission for the academic session 2017-2018 was finally not granted, which has, therefore, left the question to be considered as to the status and the rights of those students who were admitted pursuant to the interim order and who were allocated by the central counselling agency," the bench said.
The top court said that one of the terms of essentiality certificate under which a college is allowed to be set up and make admissions is that in case the college runs into any difficulty, the state shall take care of those students who were admitted in such college.
The bench said that the top court had expressed its concern over the fate of students through its interim order passed from time to time and said that the students in question must be accommodated in other colleges firstly in Madhya Pradesh and if not, then in the adjoining states.