NEW DELHI: The Centre's decision debarring a Dehradun-based medical college from admitting students for two years was today quashed by the Supreme Court which observed a "cryptic and mechanical order" was passed which cannot stand judicial scrutiny.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to permit the college to admit up to 150 students till September 5 for the 2017-18 academic session and allot seats in the MBBS course through central counselling as per merit.
The bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, observed in its judgement that despite the apex court asking the competent authority to reconsider the matter, "it opted to pass a cryptic and mechanical order which suffers from the vice of non-application of mind, if not perverse".
The verdict came on the pleas filed by a trust which had moved the court against various orders passed by the competent authority debarring its college from admitting students for two academic sessions, besides authorising MCI to encash bank guarantee of Rs two crore offered by the institute.
"The impugned decision of the competent authority of the Central Government dated August 14 is quashed and set aside.
Further, respondents are directed to permit the college to admit up to 150 students until September 5 for the academic session 2017-18 and allot (seats to) students through central counselling in order of their merit for the academic session 2017-18 in the MBBS course," the bench said.
The apex court noted that reconsideration of the matter by the Centre was a mere formality in this case and no sincere effort was made by the competent authority to analyse the materials placed on record by the college.
"This is nothing short of abdication of statutory duty.
That cannot be countenanced especially when the matter was sent back to the competent authority by this court vide order dated August 1...," it said.
In its August 14 order, the competent authority had reiterated its earlier decision of debarring the trust from admitting students for the academic session 2017-18 and 201819 and authorising MCI to encash the bank guarantee.
The competent authority had passed the order on the ground that there were some discrepancies regarding the faculty, residents, OPD and bed occupancy there.
The authority had in September last year permitted the trust to establish a new medical college at Dehradun for the academic session 2016-17.
In its verdict, the court clarified that its order would not be an impediment for the MCI and the competent authority to inspect the college as and when deemed fit and if any deficiency was found after giving opportunity to the college, to proceed in accordance with law.