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Sc Condemns Arbitrary Cancellation Of Mbbs Aspirant And Ordered To Increase A Seat In The Next Academic Year To Admit The Aspirant And Pay 1 Lakh As Compensation

Ifrah Murtaza ,
  27 March 2024       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
Civil Appeal No.s. xxxx of 2024

Case title:

Vansh s/o Prakash Dolas v. The Ministry of Education & Ors. 

Date of Order:

20th March 2024 

Bench:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice B.R. Gavai

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rajesh Bindal 

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sandeep Mehta

Parties:

Appellant: Vansh s/o Prakash Dolas 

Respondent(s): The Ministry of Education & Ors. 

SUBJECT:

The Supreme Court of India (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Supreme Court’ or ‘the Court’) set aside the order of the High Court of Bombay wherein the petitions filed by appellant were dismissed. The appellant applied for admission in the MBBS course in a medical college (respondent no. 6) against the State Quota as a domicile of Maharashtra, but his admission was cancelled arbitrarily on the grounds that the appellant’s father was not located in Maharashtra and therefore the appellant had not passed his HSC and SSC exams in Maharashtra. The Supreme Court condemned the cancellation of the appellant’s admission stating that appellant’s father was serving in the BSF and the location of his deployment was beyond the control of the appellant. The Court acknowledged that the judicial process had resulted in a loss of 6 months of the academic year and ruled that an extra seat be added in the next academic year to accommodate the appellant and even pay him monetary compensation. 

OVERVIEW: 

  • Appellant is a resident of Maharashtra and his father serves as a Head Constable in the Border Security Force (BSF).
  • Due to his father’s deployment outside Maharashtra, the appellant completed his SSC and HSC education in a school outside Maharashtra.
  • The appellant having appeared in NEET-UG 2023, sought admission in the MBBS course in Maharashtra under the Other Backward Class/Non-Creamy Layer (OBC/NCL) category as a domicile of the State of Maharashtra. 
  • Appellant was issued a provisional selection letter (CAP1) by the State Common Entrance Cell on 04.08.2023 upon being found meritorious.
  • He was offered a seat in a college (respondent no.6) where he completed the requisite formalities and paid Rs. 13,500/- as admission fees. 
  • On 09.08.2023, respondent no. 6 cancelled the appellant’s admission via a letter, without giving him any opportunity to be heard.
  • The Appellant filed a writ petition contesting the cancellation before the High Court of Bombay. 
  • The High Court dismissed the petition on the grounds that the appellant did not fulfil all the requirements of the Information brochure. 
  • On 05.09.2023, the appellant filed a miscellaneous civil application (Review), which was also rejected vide order dated 26.10.2023.
  • Both orders are now being disputed in the instant case. 

ISSUES RAISED:

  • Whether the cancellation of the admission was arbitrary?
  • Whether the applicant could seek admission against the state quota as a state domicile?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT:

  • The appellant had applied for admission under the State quota as a domicile of the State of Maharashtra and had rightfully got admission based on merit thereby making the cancellation unjust, arbitrary, and in violation of principles of natural justice. 
  • The nature of the appellant’s claim was misconstrued by the High Court since the appellant had sought admission as a domicile of Maharashtra under OBC/NCL and not under the Children of Defence personnel (DEF) Category. 
  • The appellant referred to the case of Archana Sudhakar Mandulkar v. Dean, Govt. Medical College, Nagpur & Ors and the case of Rajiv Purshottam Wadhwa v. State of Maharashtra which had similar circumstances. In both cases, the denial of admission to the candidate merely because their parents were not posted in Maharashtra during the time of their education was unjust and arbitrary.
  •  A harmonious interpretation of the rules and guidelines of college admission requirements is necessary to avoid unconstitutionality. 
  •  The appellant should be granted relief in the same manner as the cited judgments. 

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT:

  • Appellant does not fulfil all the criteria listed in the College information brochure. 
  • Clause 4.8 specifically mentions that the parent of candidate seeking admission must have been transferred from a place outside Maharashtra to within the state. Additionally, the parent must have reported for duty within the state on the last date of verification. These grounds were not covered by the appellant’s father. 
  • Appellant did not seek admission under the DEF category at the time of application and cannot do so at a later date. 
  • Respondent sought dismissal of the instant petition. 

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS;

  • It was established that the appellant and his parents were domiciles of Maharashtra and the appellant passed his SSC and HSC examinations outside the state owing to his father’s deployment in the BSF. 
  • Appellant had applied for admission under OBC/NCL in the state quota and met all the criteria for the same. 
  • Upon careful examination of the information brochure, the Supreme Court pointed out that clause 4.8 of the information brochure provides an exception for claiming a seat in the Maharashtra State quota for children of employees of the Government of India or its Undertakings. 
  • However, the location imposition under clause 4.8 was also taken into account by the Court.
  • The Supreme Court opined that it was beyond the appellant’s capacity to control his father’s place of deployment, where the location is not based on the employee’s choices. 
  • The nature of the guidelines and requisites on the information brochure was considered arbitrary and unjust as it was discriminatory against the appellant whose father was serving as a soldier at the country’s frontiers. 
  • High Court’s dismissal of appellant’s petition on the grounds that appellant had failed to apply under the DEF category was erroneous as appellant had clearly sought admission against the state quota as a domicile of Maharashtra.
  • The appellant was qualified to seek admission as a state domicile under OBC/NCL category. 
  • The Supreme Court ruled that candidates born in Maharashtra, whose parents are government employees are entitled to a seat under the state quota, regardless of their parent’s place of employment.
  • However, the Court acknowledged the practical hurdle that now stands before the appellant that at the time of this hearing, 6 months have already passed since the commencement of the academic session in August 2023 and there were no vacant seats at present in the concerned college.
  • The Court condemned the unjust, insensitive, and arbitrary approach of the respondents and inherent delays in the judicial process which has cost the appellant an entire academic year.
  • Referring to the case of Manoj Kumar v. Union of India, the Court considered the concept of restitutive relief and observed that while the primary duty of constitutional court is to control power and set aside illegal or arbitrary actions, it is equally important to address the injurious consequences arising from such actions. 
  • It was held that courts should take steps to regulate the exercise of power in arbitrary action when it becomes apparent that the relief sought in the writ petition is unattainable due to passage of time. 
  • Relying on the judgment of S. Krishna Sradha v. State of Andhra Pradesh, the Court held that it would be unfair and inappropriate to let the appellant join the course that has already begun. 
  • Instead, the Court opined that he be given admission in the same course next year since Appellant had filed the petition without any delay right after the issuance of the cancellation letter.
  • Additionally, the Court ruled that the guidelines in the information brochure be amended, and until its appropriately amended, candidates who are domiciles of Maharashtra having completed SSC and HSC; :(i) Whose parent(s) are domiciles of Maharashtra and employed in the Central Government or its Undertaking, defence services and/or in paramilitary forces viz. CRPF, BSF, etc. and;(ii) Such parent(s) are posted at any place in the country as on the last date of document verification, shall be entitled for a seat in MBBS Course in the Maharashtra State quota.

CONCLUSION:

The Supreme Court directed the appellant be granted admission in the first year of MBBS(UG) course from the year 2024 by creating an additional seat so as to not reduce in the quota for qualified candidates of NEET UG-2024. The impugned orders of the High Court were set aside and the instant appeal was allowed. Respondent no. 6 – the College- was also instructed to provide the appellant a compensation of Rs. 1 Lakh for the deprivation of one academic year and the consequent harassment caused by the arbitrary and unfair cancellation of his admission. Any pending application, if any, stood dimissed.  


 

 
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