New Delhi: The Supreme Court has framed a series of guidelines for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in the country, saying after July 15 each year, neither the government nor the medical or dental councils shall issue any recognition or approval for that academic year.
   
"The commencement of new courses or increase in seats of existing courses of MBBS/BDS are to be approved/recognised by the government of India by 15th July of each calendar year for the relevant academic sessions of that year.
   
"After 15th July of each year, neither the Union of India nor the Medical or Dental Council of India shall issue any recognition or approval for the current academic year. If any such approval is granted after 15th July of any year, it shall only be operative for the next academic year and not in the current academic year," the bench of justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said.
   
The judges said violation of the orders would invite both contempt proceedings and initiation of departmental action against the violating its directions.
   
The bench initiated contempt proceedings against six officials in connection with the admission granted to two girls - Akansha Adile and Priya Gupta - in the MBBS course for the academic year 2006-07 in the Government NMDC Medical College, Jagdalpur in Chandigarh, on September 30, after overlooking the claims of several other meritorious students and the time schedule.
   
Contempt proceedings were initiated against the director general, Directorate of Health Services; S L Adile, director of Medical Education; the dean of Jagdalpur College; and M S Banjan, P D Agarwal and Padmakar Sasane, members of the selection committee. Akansha is the daughter of S L Adile.

However, considering the fact that the two girls are in their final year of MBBS study, the bench though holding their admissions illegal, imposed a cost of Rs five lakh on each of them which it said shall be used for development of Jagdalpur College.
   
The court said any college which grants admission for the current academic year, where its recognition/approval is granted subsequent to 15th July of the current academic year, "shall be liable for withdrawal of recognition/approval on this ground, in addition to being liable to indemnify such students who are denied admission or who are wrongfully given admission in the college.
   
"Any medical or dental college, or seats thereof, to which the recognition/approval is issued subsequent to 15th July of the respective year shall not be included in the counselling to be conducted by the concerned authority and that college would have no right to make admissions in the current academic year against such seats," the bench said.
   
According to the Apex Court, admission to the medical or dental colleges shall be granted only through the respective entrance tests conducted by the competitive authority in the state or the body of the private colleges.
   
"If any seats remain vacant or are surrendered from All India quota, they should positively be allotted and admission granted strictly as per the merit by 15th September of the relevant year and not by holding an extended counselling.
   
"The remaining time will be limited to the filling up of the vacant seats resulting from exceptional circumstances or surrender of seats. All candidates should join the academic courses by 30th September of the academic year," the bench said.
   
Referring to the two girls' illegal admission, the bench said, "The prescribed procedure for grant of admission was given a go by and the rule of admission on merit stood frustrated as a consequence of such admission process,
   
"Where the time schedules have not been complied with, and rule of merit has been defeated, there nepotism and manipulation have prevailed. The stands of various authorities are at variance with each other and none admits to fault," the bench said.

(Agencies)

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