The Supreme Court has directed a Maharashtra-based medical college to pay Rs 20 lakh as penalty to each of the 19 meritorious students who were “illegally” and “wrongly” denied admission by it six years ago.
The top court asked the college to deposit the money in three months with the Pravesh Niyantran Samiti (PNS), a body constituted by the state government to oversee and regulate admissions in medical colleges. The 19 students were “illegally” and “wrongly” denied admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in the 2012-13 academic year.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit spared the Dr. Ulhas Patil Medical College and Hospital, Jalgaon, in Maharashtra from de-recognition and set aside the direction of the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court as the institution agreed to pay the penalty to the students.
“As the college has shown the gesture of making payment of penalty to the 19 students, who were deprived of admission, considering the fact that several years have passed and a large number of students have passed out and are undertaking instructions in the college, it would not be appropriate in the facts of the case that once monetary penalty has been imposed to withdraw the recognition… And to dis-affiliate the appellant college,” the bench said.
It diluted and set aside the direction of the high court with respect to the withdrawal of the recognition, dis-affiliation and contempt. The bench, however, clarified that if the penalty amount is not deposited with PNS in three months and compliance is not reported to the apex court, then the high court order of March 27 will stand as it is.
It directed PNS to send the compliance report to the apex court.
To a breather to less meritorious students, who were admitted by the college for alleged motive of profiteering in the place of more deserving students, the top court set aside the direction of the high court cancelling their admissions.
The high court, on March 27, had said Dr. Ulhas Patil Medical College and Hospital, Jalgaon, had “wrongly and illegally denied admissions to 19 meritorious students and instead took admissions of less meritorious students for profiteering”. The high court also found that the college even violated the set procedure and calendar fixed by PNS for admission of students to MBBS and BDS courses.
It directed for payment of Rs 20 lakh penalty to each of the 19 students for wrongful denial of admissions, cancellation of admissions of less meritorious students, de-recognition of the college and contempt action against the office bearers of the college. The meritorious students, who were denied admissions by the college had complained to the collector, PNS and other authorities concerned about the irregularities, and even approached the high court for the relief.
The college had challenged the order of the high court before the apex court.