Supreme Court directs payment of compensation, creation of additional MBBS seat for student

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed for creation of a MBBS seat and payment of Rs 1 lakh compensation to a student, denied admission to the course due to insensitive, unjust, illegal and arbitrary approach by the authorities.

A three-judge bench led by Justice B R Gavai directed the Maharashtra government and a medical college to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the student, Vansh.

The court also directed for creation of a seat for the appellant, so as to provide measures of restitutive relief.

The court said the appellant,-student would be provided admission in the ‘OBC category domicile of Maharashtra child of person serving the government of India’ in the first year of the MBBS (UG) course commencing from the year 2024 by creating an additional seat.

The bench also comprising Justices Rajesh Bindal and Sandeep Mehta, made it clear that there should be no reduction in the quota of seats to the candidates who succeed in the NEET UG 2024.

The bench noted that the order cancelling the admission of the appellant was issued on August 9, 2023 and the writ petition was filed before the high court promptly on August 10, 2023, without any delay whatsoever.

“The appellant is entitled to restoration of his seat in the first year of MBBS(UG) course in the same college in the next session, i.e., NEET UG-2024,” the bench said, in its judgment of March 20.

The court also directed that until a suitable rectification is made in the guidelines/rules, candidates domicile of the State of Maharashtra having acquired SSC and/or HSC qualification from any recognised institution and whose parents are domiciles of Maharashtra and employed in the central government or its undertaking, defence services and/or in paramilitary forces viz. CRPF, BSF, etc such parents are posted at any place in the country as on the last date of document verification, would be entitled for a seat in MBBS Course in the Maharashtra State quota.

The student here assailed orders passed by the division bench of the Bombay High Court.

The high court, after considering the entirety of facts and circumstances, dismissed the appellant’s plea on September 5, 2023 holding that he did not satisfy the requirements of clauses 4.8 and 9.4.4 of the information brochure.

It was held that since the appellant did not select specified reservation i.e., in the category of Children of Defence personnel (DEF), while submitting the online application form, he was precluded from raising such a claim at a belated stage, as being impermissible in view of the rider contained in clause 9.4.4 of the information brochure. The high court also rejected the review plea filed by the student in October, 2023.

The appellant was a domicile of Maharashtra and his father was employed in the Border Security Force (BSF) as a head constable (general duty) . The appellant, owing to the deployment of his father outside the state, was compelled to complete class 10 and class 12 from a school outside Maharashtra.

The appellant appeared in NEET-UG, 2023 and upon being found meritorious, he was issued a provisional selection letter by the state common entrance cell, Maharashtra on August 4, 2023 and was allotted a seat in a college. He completed the requisite formalities and paid an amount of Rs 13,500 by way of admission fees. He had applied for admission under the Other Backward Class/Non-Creamy Layer (OBC/NCL) category as being domicile of the State of Maharashtra.

However, without issuing notice and without providing any opportunity of being heard to the appellant, the medical college issued a letter/communication on August 9, 2023 cancelling his admission. The apex court said the letter issued by college cancelling the appellant’s admission, without giving opportunity to show cause, is illegal and arbitrary and deserves to be quashed and set aside

“Undisputably, the appellant has been illegally deprived from his rightful admission in the first year of the MBBS course owing to the insensitive, unjust, illegal and arbitrary approach of the respondents and so also on account of the delay occasioned in the judicial process,” the bench said.

The court said that there is a practical hurdle which comes in the way of the appellant for being provided admission in the MBBS course in the current session which has progressed significantly from August, 2023. It also noted more than six months have passed by since the session started and no seat is lying vacant in any college in Maharashtra State quota as on date.

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