CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has directed the authorities concerned not to disturb the admission of 59 students made to the PG courses in SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre in Kattankulathur, until further orders.
The bench of Justices S Nagamuthu and Justice Anita Sumanth gave the directive while passing interim orders on a PIL from the deemed to be university, seeking to protect the interest of 61 students, who were admitted in the post-graduate programmes on April 12.
The bench, however, said that the admission of these 59 candidates shall be subject to the outcome of the writ petition. The seats of the two candidates will remain as vacant ones as they had not been admitted through the proper channel, the bench said. It also directed the State Health Department and the Director of Medical Education not to allot the 59 seats to any other candidate as they had already been filled by the petitioner university.
According to advocate B Saraswathi, on the basis of a communication issued by the National Board of Examinations for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MD/MS/PG diploma courses, 2017 during September 2016, the university had made the admissions of 59 students. Another two candidates were admitted from the open market. The admissions were made purely on the marks secured by them in the NEET. The admissions were completed on March 3 itself.
It is only after the selections were completed, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare issued a communication on March 10 directing all deemed-to-be universities to be part of the common counselling for admission in PG courses. It added that the session will commence from May 1 and the last date of admission is May 31. While so, the Medical Council of India amended the PG Medical Education Regulations, 2000, on March 10 and inserted Regulation 9A relating to common counselling and it was published in the gazette on March 11. As per the communication, all institutions have to surrender 50pc of seats to the government quota.
Petitioner’s senior counsel V T Gopalan contended that no retrospective effect can be given to this notification. It cannot affect the admissions already made by the petitioner university prior to the date of the said notification. Deemed-to-be universities are exempted from such seat- sharing arrangement. Even otherwise, as per the decisions of the Supreme Court in TMA Pai Foundation and PA Inamdar cases, the seat-sharing arrangement should be voluntary and cannot be enforced. The amendment was unconstitutional and violative of Art. 19(1)(g) of the constitution and contrary to the foundation of autonomy of the private institutions, he added and sought to declare the same as unconstitutional.