The Madras High Court expressed heightened worry observing the attitude of the Directorate of Medical Examination and Self-financing college officials. It came in the wake of a series of Writ Petitions filed by the students, who despite were denied/left out of the allotment of seats for the course accrued to their merit, for not-so-effective handling of the officials concerned. The cases were heard by Justice N. Anand Venkatesh. The Court also issued ordered a probe by CB- CID into ‘conspiracy’ if any, among the officials concerned.
Facts of the Case
In W.P.No.11963 of 22020, the Petitioner had submitted that she was allotted MD Micro Biology course during the first round of counselling under the Management Quota in PSG Institute of Medical Science and Research, Coimbatore.
She submitted that the allotment order itself provided for up-gradation of better choice during further counselling, however, the mop-up counselling was not conducted. Thus, the College went ahead and allotted the seat in favour of a candidate who had secured lesser marks than her.
In W.P.No.13466 of 2020, the Karpaga Vinayakka Medical College, Chengalpattu, refused to admit the Petitioner despite him being allotted a seat in the said college after he failed to pay the exorbitant fees.
On 30.08.20, he paid a sum of Rs. 30.000/- by way of Demand Draft before the selection committee. When he approached the College and produced the provisional allotment order the following day, the College demanded a sum of Rs. 35,000/- as against 30,000/- which was the original fee.
In W.P. No. 13564 of 2020, the Petitioner did not get any seat during the first and second rounds of counselling. He expected the selection committee to conduct mop-up counselling to fill up the Management Quota. Since the same did not take place, he approached the Court to direct the selection committee to conduct the mop-up counselling. By then, the cut-off date i.e. 31.08.2020 had passed.
Arguments Before the Court
In W.P.No.11963 of 2020, the Petitioner submitted based on the facts mentioned, that directions be given to the Respondent authorities to fill up the PG Medical seats declared as vacant as per the seat matrix published by the Directorate of Medical Education, only by conducting Mop Up counselling for management seats for this year.
The Advocate General, appearing for the Respondent authorities, submitted that there were 103 seats available under the Management Quota. Since there was no time to conduct the counselling, the selection committee wrote a letter to the self-financing colleges to fill up the vacancies from the list forwarded to them.
Accordingly, the College also submitted that it was not able to allot a seat to the Petitioner as they had to only go by the list issued by the Selection Committee. If the Petitioner was allotted a seat, the seat occupied by her in MD Micro Biology would have fallen vacant.
In W.P.No.13466 of 2020, the petitioner questioned the College’s change in position concerning the Rs. 5,000/- increase in fees.
In W.P.No.11963 of 2020, the Court inquired why the college had not approached the Supreme Court seeking an extension of time to conduct the mop-up counselling for the Management Quota. The College submitted that the Apex Court had previously extended the time from 31.05.2020 to 31.07.2020 and thereafter, to 31.08.2020. Thus, it was thought that the Supreme Court would not grant any further extension of time to conduct the mop-up counselling. The Court was, however, unconvinced by the College’s response.
In W.P.No.13466 of 2020, the Court observed that the Respondent college ought to have informed the Selection Committee about the non-payment of the fees by the Petitioner. Thereafter, the Selection Committee should have identified the seat as a stray vacancy and only then the said seat could have been filed.
In W.P. No. 13564 of 2020, the Court observed that no further action could be passed, as the deadline for conducting the mop-up counselling for Management Quota was already over i.e., on 31.08.20.
In W.P. No. 11963, the Court gave the liberty to the Petitioner to give up her seat in PSG Institute of Medical Science and Research in MD Micro Biology, without the imposition of any penalty, as observed under 21 (c) of the Prospectus. Further, it ordered that the Petitioner will be entitled to once again participate during selection in the next academic year for post-graduation courses.
In W.P. No. 13466 of 2020, the Court directed the Petitioner to pay the fees fixed by the fee fixation committee to the Respondent college. On such payment, the Respondent college shall admit the Petitioner in the MS Orthopaedics course. It was further directed that the Respondent college should refund the entire amount received from the candidate who was admitted in the place of the Petitioner.
The Court directed the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, to allot the case to CB- CID which shall consist of a team headed by an officer, not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner. The scope of the enquiry as mentioned by the Court would be related to the following issues.
Firstly, whether there was any conspiracy between the officials of the Directorate of Medical Education and the self-financing colleges in filling up the stray vacancies on 31.08.2020. Secondly, the amount received from each candidate who was admitted by the self-financing colleges on 31.08.2020. Thirdly, any other matter that may unfold during investigation in this regard.
The Court lastly directed that the Report of this aforementioned investigation titled “For Reporting Compliance”, must be presented before the Court on or before 31.01.2021. The Writ Petitions were thus, disposed of.
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