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Supreme Court Directs Addition of Seats in PG Medical Courses, in Case the Candidate Is Not at Fault and Is Eligible as per Rule of Merit

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This case relates to the allotment of seats in the PG Medical Courses as per the rule of merit and adherence to the deadlines for submission of certificates and payment of fees for admission to the college. 

Brief Facts of the Case

Respondent No.1 appeared for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) Medical PG Entrance Examination, 2020. Based on merit, she was provisionally allotted Respondent No.2- college and was asked to report before the Principal of Respondent No. 2 -college by 04:00 PM on 30.07.2020. In case of failure to report, the provisional selection shall be automatically cancelled. 

She had approached Respondent No.2- college for submission of certificates and payment of fees on 29.07.2020 and 30.07.2020. Despite, her presence, the admission of Respondent No.1 was not completed. Further, the deadline was extended till 30.08.2020 by the directions of this court. Respondent No. 1 made attempts to meet the Chairman of Respondent No.2-college but was not permitted. 

Respondent No.2 averred that respondent No.1 approached the college but only for inquiry, thus on 11.08.2020, Respondent No.5, who is 2000 ranks below Respondent No.1,  was granted admission. The High Court allowed the petition directing the Appellant to create a seat in MS (General Surgery) and grant admission to Respondent No.1. The appellant aggrieved by the High Court’s order to create an additional seat in PG Medical Specialty Course of MS (General Surgery) for the academic year 2020-21,  filed this petition before this Court. 

Appellant’s Argument

The appellant submitted that the Respondent No.1 did not approach the concerned authorities without delay for redressal of grievance about the illegal action of Respondent No.2 college in not granting admission to her. No direction could have been granted by the High Court for admission to Respondent No.1 on 18.09.2020 because the creation of a seat is contrary to law. 

Respondent’s Argument

Respondent No.1 submitted that the admission granted to less meritorious Respondent No.5 cause irreparable loss to Respondent No.1 and contended that High Court was right in directing the creation of an additional seat and granting admission to Respondent No.1. The judgment of S. Krishna Sradha v. The State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors. applies to Post Graduate Courses as well. 

Respondent No.2 submitted that the procedure prescribed under the Regulations of the Medical Council of India for admission to PG Medical Courses was followed. Respondent No.1 cannot complain that she was denied admission because had not approached the college before the last date. Further, states that Respondent No.5 was rightly granted admission, and Respondent No.2-college has no objection to the order of the High Court. 

Respondent No.3- the Kaloji Narayana Rao University and Respondent No.5, submitted that they have no objection to the judgment of the High Court. Respondent No.5, when granted admission was not aware of the instant events which led to the dispute. 

Observation by the Court

The Court has repeatedly held that the court cannot issue directions to increase the annual intake capacity and to create seats. National Medical Council fixes the annual intake capacity, which has to strictly adhere. Admission to Medical College beyond sanctioned intake capacity cannot be permitted. 

In the case of Asha v. Pt. D.B. Sharma University, the court held that the rule of merit for preference has to be strictly followed without reluctance. The last of admission has to be strictly followed except in very rare and exceptional cases of unequivocal discrimination or arbitrariness or pressing emergency. In such cases, admission can be granted even after the last date. 

In Chandigarh Administration & Anr. V. Jasmine Kaur & Ors., the Court opined that the student is entitled to compensation in cases of illegal denial of admission and no admission can be directed after the last date. 

In S. Krishna Sraddha’s case, the court held that if there exists no fault on the part of the candidate and he has pursued his legal right expeditiously, then under exceptional circumstances the court can direct admission in the same year by directing an increase in seats. The Court may also pass an order to cancel the admission of the candidate, who is at the bottom of the merit list if the admission has to be given to meritorious candidates. 

In case of relief cannot be granted in the same academic year and the authorities are at fault, then the Court can direct admission in the next academic year by issuing directions to increase the number of seats. Compensation can be granted as an additional remedy but not a substitute for restitution remedies. 

The aforesaid direction pertains to admission in the MBBS course and not dealt with PG courses. But, the Court observed that these directions can be made applicable to admission to PG courses as well. 

The High Court was right in holding that Respondent No.5 might not have known about the denial of admission illegally. Respondent No.2 adopted unfair means to deprive Respondent No.1 of admission to PG courses. 

The Decision of the Court

The Appeal is disposed of off with the compensation of ₹ 10,00,000 to Respondent No.1. One seat in MS (General Surgery) course from Management quota of Respondent No.2 -college for the academic year 2020-21 shall be granted to Respondent No.1. 

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