Meritorious candidate can't be denied admission: SC

SC settles conflict between two judgments
Last Updated 15 December 2019, 02:20 IST

The Supreme Court has ruled that if a meritorious and deserving candidate is denied admission to MBBS course without his fault, the court can direct for granting him a seat in exceptional and in rarest of cases by increasing the number of seats or canceling the admission to the student at the bottom of merit list.

Such a candidate can also be granted admission from the management quota seats next year, if one month beyond the cut-off date of September 30 has passed. He or she can be granted compensation as an additional remedy if the candidate had to lose one full academic year for no fault.
“Denial of admission in medical course to a meritorious candidate for no fault of his/her and though he/she has approached the court in time and despite the same not granting any just and equitable relief would be denial of justice,” a three-judge bench presided over by Justice Arun Mishra said in a judgment that settled the conflict between two verdicts on the subject.

The bench, also comprising Justices M R Shah and B R Gavai, overruled a 2014 judgement, which had stated that only relief that can be granted to such a candidate would be the compensation, The three-judge bench said it is not good law and cannot be accepted.

“A meritorious student seeking admission in medical course is very important in the life of student/candidate and denial of admission to a meritorious candidate though no fault of his/her violates his/her fundamental rights. Compensation could be an additional remedy but not a substitute for restitutionary remedies,” the bench said.

A reference was made to the three-judge bench to decide whether a meritorious candidate, who pursued her legal right expeditiously without delay, can be denied admission as a relief, because the cut-off date of September 30 has passed. In such a situation, whether the relief can be to grant appropriate compensation only.

In 'Asha vs Pt B D Sharma' case, (2012) the top court had held that in an exceptional case the court can direct for admission to the MBBS course of a deserving candidate even in a case where the cut-off date of September 30 had elapsed.

However, in 2014, the top court in case of 'Chandigarh Admn vs Jasmine Kaur' held that the court should only consider any other relief other than direction for admission if the cut-off date had expired, such as compensation, to the candidate who, for no fault, was denied admission.

Arguing for a candidate S Krishna Sradha, denied admission without any fault, advocate K Parameshwar, contended the right to equal and fair treatment was a component of Article 14 and in the case of violation of constitutional rights, restitution is the norm and compensation, an exception. The Medical Council of India, for its part, favoured only compensation, not admission if the cut-off had passed.

(Published 14 December 2019, 10:46 IST)

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