Admissions in undergraduate medical courses after counselling by private medical colleges or varsities "shall stand cancelled forthwith", the Supreme Court ruled today, holding that such counselling can be done "only" by the state government.
"If any counselling has been done by any College or University and any admission to any medical seat has been given so far, such admission shall stand cancelled forthwith and admission shall be given only as per centralised counselling done by the state Government," a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice A R Dave said.
Disposing of Madhya Pradesh government's plea for contempt action against private colleges for holding separate counselling, the apex court asked the state government to hold counselling afresh and complete it by September 30.
The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, R K Agrawal, Adarsh Kumar Goel and R Banumathi, said the private medical colleges could send their representatives at the place of counselling to witness the process.
The court referred to its April 11 order by which it had recalled its 2013 verdict scrapping single common entrance test (NEET) for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges.
"We observe that the mandate of our judgment was to hold centralised entrance test followed by centralised state counselling by the state to make it a one composite process.
"We, therefore, direct that admission to all medical seats shall be conducted by centralised counselling only by the state Government and none else," it said today.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, appearing for Madhya Pradesh, told the bench that though state has already concluded the first round of counselling, it was willing to hold it afresh.
"We may note at this stage that the state government has done the first counselling. However, the Additional Solicitor General has made a statement at the Bar that the state government is ready to undertake the entire process afresh and assures that it would be completed by September 30, 2016 which is the last date for admission," the bench noted in its order.
The bench, which quashed the counselling done so far by the private medical colleges and universities in Madhya Pradesh, said it would be a "proper course of action" if private colleges are allowed to "send their representatives at the place of counselling as per the information which may be displayed by the counselling authority forthwith at its website."
The bench also recorded the assurance given by the state through its law officer that all seats, whether of government colleges or the private institutions, "shall be filled up and no seat shall remain vacant."
Disposing of the contempt plea, the bench said it does not "intend to proceed further and discharge the contempt notice...the contempt petition stands disposed of on the aforesaid terms."
The order came on the contempt petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh government alleging that private medical colleges have been refusing to admit students who have taken part in the centralised counselling being conducted by it.
Yesterday, the apex court had ordered status quo in admission to undergraduate medical courses in private medical institutes in Madhya Pradesh.
The apex court, on April 11, had recalled its 2013 verdict scrapping single common entrance test (NEET) for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges.
As a result, the private colleges are required to get students through NEET.