The first bench of the Madras High Court has termed as ‘old wine in new bottle’ the latest regulations/guidelines issued by the TN Dr MGR Medical University, which stipulated 50 per cent marks in each subject including practical and theory, for a pass for MBBS students.
The bench of Acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan made the observation while quashing the regulations and allowing a batch of petitions from C Praveen and 18 other MBBS students.
Petitioners’ counsel S Thanka Selvan contended that a division bench had already quashed similar regulations/guidelines issued by the Medical University in 2012. Because of the stipulation, many meritorious students had failed, he added.
Accepting Selvan’s contention, the bench observed that the 2012 regulations had already been set aside by a bench headed by the then chief justice. The bench had categorically held that the guidelines of the university were inconsistent with Regulation 12 (4) of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and could not be stated to be prescribing higher standards.
A perusal of the present guidelines showed that they were similar to those which were challenged earlier and nothing but “old wine in a new bottle”. The matter in issue was squarely covered by the court’s earlier decision. The special leave petitions were also dismissed by the Supreme Court at the admission stage itself.
So, it was not open to the university to say that since MCI took the stand that the impugned guidelines would not be in conflict with the Central Regulations, it was entitled to implement the same. The bench, however, made it clear that “it is not inclined to say that there should not be improvement in the standards of medical education in this country”.
“But at the same time, the MCI should not amend or alter its Regulation 12(4) keeping in view the present situation, particularly in the field of medicine and allied subjects, so that it will be uniformly applied to all the governments and medical institutions,’’ the bench observed.