NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday imposed Rs 5 crore fine on a private medical college in Unnao for granting admission to students in violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat noted that Saraswati Medical College admitted 132 students on its own without seeking a nod from Director General Medical Education (DGME), Uttar Pradesh.
The bench held however that cancelling the admission of the students would serve no purpose, but directed them to do 2-year community service after their MBBS course as they were not innocent and knew their names were not recommended by the DGME.
It said: "Being aware of the fact that admissions cannot be made from students not allotted by the third Respondent (MCI), the College admitted 132 students on its own. Thereafter, the college permitted the students to continue their studies in spite of the direction by the MCI to discharge the students not being stayed."
"Intentional violation of the regulations by the college while granting admission to 132 students in the first year MBBS course for the academic year 2017-2018 cannot be condoned.
The Petitioner-College is directed to deposit an amount of Rs 5 crore in the Registry of this Court within a period of 8 weeks from today".
The apex court also directed the medical college not to recover the amount from the students in any manner whatsoever.
"We direct the National Medical Commission (NMC) to constitute a Trust which shall include the Accountant General of the State of Uttar Pradesh, an eminent educationist and a representative of the State of Uttar Pradesh as Members of the Trust.
"The Trust constituted to manage Rs 5 crore to be deposited by the Petitioner-College shall extend financial assistance to needy students seeking admission to medical colleges in the State of Uttar Pradesh," the bench said.
An Action Taken Report (ATR) along with the copy of the Trust-Deed be filed by the NMC within 12 weeks from today, the apex court said.
It said the students who have secured admission cannot be said to be innocent as they knew fully well that their names were not recommended by the DGME.
"We also do not agree that students and their parents were not aware that their admissions in College are contrary to the Regulations.
In spite of the letter dated September 29, 2017 issued by the Medical Council of India, the College did not discharge the students.
"The said direction issued by the Medical Council of India was not stayed by this Court.
In spite of this, the students continued their first year MBBS course and managed to write the first year MBBS course examinations after being permitted by the University," the bench said.
The court noted that the students approached it for declaration of their results for the first year MBBS course examinations which was granted.
Six out of 132 students failed in their first year examination.
At present, 126 students have completed their second year MBBS course and are seeking permission to take the examination.
The bench said that taking note of the fact that the students have completed the second year MBBS course, cancelling their admissions at this stage would not serve any useful purpose.
"The students who joined the College knowing fully well that their admissions are contrary to the Regulations are directed to do community service for a period of two years after completing their MBBS course," the court said.
The NMC will decide the details and workout the modalities of the community service to be rendered by the 132 students, the bench said.
The University is directed to conduct the second year MBBS examination for 126 students admitted in the petitioner-college and who completed their second year course at the earliest and declare their results.
"They shall be permitted to complete the MBBS course. This direction is issued only to save the students from losing three academic years in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case and shall not be treated as a precedent," the apex court said.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by Saraswati Educational Charitable Trust challenging the notice of September 29, 2017, issued by Medical Council of India directing Saraswati Medical College to discharge 132 out of 150 students admitted in the first year MBBS course for the academic year 2017-2018.
The second petition was filed by 71 students who have been admitted in first year MBBS course for the 2017-2018 to permit them to continue with their studies and to direct the Registrar, Uttar Pradesh Medical Council to declare their results of the first year MBBS course.