The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SC bars mid-term medical college admission

New Delhi, Sept. 16: In a judgment set to alter the admission procedure to medical courses, the Supreme Court has ruled that there should not be any mid-term admissions in medical colleges.

In a 26-page judgment, a division bench of Justices Ruma Pal and Arijit Pasayat prescribed a mandatory guideline to govern the Medical Council of India (MCI) admission procedure.

The guidelines laid down by the judges are as follows:

n There is no scope for admitting students mid-term as that would be against the very spirit of statutes governing the medical education

n Even if seats are unfilled, that cannot be a ground for making mid-session admissions

n There cannot be telescoping of unfilled seats of one year with permitted seats of the subsequent year

n The MCI shall ensure that the examining bodies fix a time schedule specifying the duration of the course, the date of commencement of the course and the last date for admission

n Different modalities for admission can be worked out and necessary steps, like holding of examination if prescribed, counselling and the like, have to be completed within the specified time

n No variation of the schedule so far as admissions are concerned shall be allowed

n In case of any deviation by the concerned institution, action as prescribed shall be taken by the MCI

The judgment came on an appeal by the MCI against an order of Patna High Court that had allowed mid-term admission to a batch of students.

The apex court set aside the order, saying “the high court was in error in directing mid-term admission”.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Pasayat observed that “filing of a large number of petitions before various high courts and this court (Supreme Court) has become an annual feature” and the issue should be settled once and for all.

From now on, the MCI will fix the time schedule and take to task erring institutions. No mid-term admission would be allowed, he said.

“When the time of admission to medical courses arrives, immediately comes to mind Shakespeare’s Othello, where it was written ‘chaos is come again’,” he added.

“The inevitable result is that considerable time is lost by candidates chasing vires instead of virus,” the apex court said, pointing out that “if any student is admitted after commencement of the course, it would be against the inten- ded objects of fixing a time schedule”.

It rejected a suggestion of the counsel for the students that extra classes could be conducted for those students admitted mid-term. It also rejected another argument that mid-term admissions brought money to the exchequer.

“We are of the view that the same (revenue to the exchequer) cannot be a ground to permit mid-stream admissions which would be against the spirit of governing statutes,” the judges said.

The apex court ordered that it should be made clear that no admissions would be granted after the expiry of the stipulated time.

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