SC Imposes ₹2.5 Crores Penalty On Medical College For Illegal Admissions In MBBS, Directs Not To Recover Penalty From Students
The Supreme Court while deciding the appeals has recently imposed a penalty of Rs. 2.5 crores on a Medical College that was involved in illegal admissions of the students in MBBS. The Court also directed the college to not recover the amount of penalty from the students in any manner for the present year and thereafter.
The appeals arose from a judgment passed by a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court, Aurangabad Bench.
The three-Judge Bench comprising CJI D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha, and Justice J.B. Pardiwala held, “We are, therefore, of the considered view in the exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution that the admissions which were granted to 100 students for 2021- 22 should not be disturbed conditional on the Medical College depositing an amount of Rs 2.5 crores within a period of four weeks. The amount shall be deposited with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and a proof of receipt shall be furnished both to the appellants and to the Registry of this Court.”
The Bench further directed that the amount, upon deposit, shall be utilized at the discretion of the Director, AIIMS for meeting the requirements of poor and needy patients.
“The amount which has been directed to be deposited by the Medical College by way of penalty shall not be recoverable from the students in any manner, whether for the present year or thereafter”, the Court also held.
Advocate Gaurav Sharma appeared on behalf of the appellants while Senior Advocate Nidhesh Gupta appeared on behalf of the medical college.
For the academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19, the Medical College was not granted permission to admit students. It submitted an application for an increase of its intake capacity from 100 to 150 seats commencing from the academic year 2021-22. At the same time, the renewal of recognition became due in 2021. During the Covid-19 pandemic, no inspection was conducted by the appellants and an affidavit was filed on behalf of the college stating that there were no deficiencies.
The Undergraduate Medical Education Board bearing in mind, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic granted renewal of recognition on for the batch of students admitted for the academic session 2016-17. The recognition was for the academic year 2021-22, subject to the condition that the continuance of recognition would be done in accordance with the law. Thereafter, certain complaints were received by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare alleging irregularities and deficiencies in the infrastructure of the Medical College. The accessors found a gross deficiency of faculty, residents, and clinical material and hence the letter of permission was withdrawn.
The Supreme Court after considering this matter noted, “… the High Court, while upholding the withdrawal of the permission to admit 50 students, permitted the Medical College to continue with the admission of 100 students. This order was stayed by this Court on 8 April 2022. Once the order of the High Court permitting the Medical College to admit 100 students for 2021-22 was stayed, the Medical College could not have unilaterally chosen to proceed with the admission process. This is plainly in breach of the directions of this Court.”
The Court further said that the medical college made an attempt to overreach the process of the Court and that the subsequent inspection conducted in pursuance of the interim order of the Court did not entitle the college to take the law for granted.
“It plainly acted in defiance of the order of this Court. … Equally, the sanctity of the judicial process has to be observed. … The admission of the students is not being disturbed, particularly having regard to the fact that they were admitted through central counselling in terms of the list which was furnished by the State of Maharashtra.”, the Court asserted.
Accordingly, the Apex Court disposed of the appeals.
Cause Title- National Medical Commission & Anr. v. Annasaheb Chudaman Patil Memorial Medical College & Ors.