Mr. Anil Baipadithaya & Ors Vs. State of
Karnataka & Ors  INSC 568 (17 October 1995)
Hansaria B.L. (J) Hansaria B.L. (J) Faizan Uddin
(J) Hansaria, J.
CITATION: 1996 AIR 432 1995 SCC (6) 531 1995
Special leave granted.
2. Admissions in professional courses, specially
medical, despite all efforts being made to secure them, have always been a
vexed question and posed problems. If the efforts are within legal parameters,
the same cannot boomerang. The appellants, however, over-ded, so much so, that
while seeking admissions to Ist year MBBS courses for the academic year
1993-94, they, in collusion with the members of the Selection Scrutiny
Committee (SSC), put up higher rankings in their admission forms, by reason of
which they were given admissions in various medical college of the State of
Karnataka. However, it was subsequently found that the rankings were really not
as mentioned in the admission forms, but lower. When this fact came to the
notice of the authorities, their admissions were cancelled. The cancellation
order was challenged on various grounds, but the High Court of Karnataka upheld
the action. Hence these appeals by special leave.
3. On a grievance being made that the appellants
had been condemned unheard, this Court by its order 9.1.1995 noted that the
State would have no objection to granting a post-decisional hearing to the
appellants (except appellant No.1 K. Sudarshan Shetty in Civil Appeal Nos.
9454-56 of 1995 arising out of SLP(C) Nos.14608-10/94, who had already secured
admission and did not want to go though the rigmarole of the enquiry) and an
officer, who may even be a judicial officer, could be nominated for this
purpose. In that order a request was, therefore, made to the Chief Justice of
the High Court to nominate an officer to undertake the inquiry, which officer
may not be below the rank of the District & Sessions Judge. Pursuant to
this order, an inquiry was held by Shri T. Mahesh Hegde, District &
Sessions Judge functioning as Officer-on-duty - cum - Registrar of the
Karnataka Administrative Tribunal.
4. The report runs into 27 pages and the result
of the inquiry has been summed up as below in para 16 :
"1) General merit list of all successful
candidates was not published in the newspapers as required under Rule 9 of the
Rules, but the same was published at Nodal- Centres/Directorate of Medical
Education and Technical Education.
2) Select list Nos. 1 and 2 were published in
the newspapers with the details of admission ticket numbers. College code etc.,
and the petitioners were not among the candidates selected in these two lists.
3) The rankings claimed by the petitioners while
securing admissions were not theirs and that the rankings actually secured by
them were much lower than the rankings claimed by them and there is no dispute
in this regard.
4) The petitioners secured admissions by
furnishing incorrect rankings in collusion with S.S.C.
5) All the petitioners were eligible to be
selected during spot selection.
6) Members of S.S.C. including the Chairman, who
are equally quilty, if not more, have been promoted (Lokayukta investigation is
7) Other eligible candidates have not challenged
the selection of the petitioners and the petitioners being otherwise eligible
to be selected have not deprived other merited students of their legitimate
5. The aforesaid conclusions show that incorrect
rankings had been mentioned and admissions had been secured in collusion with
the members of the SSC. Another important finding is that all the appellants
were eligible to be selected on the basis of their rankings, which came to be
given during spot selection. We have also noted that the appellants admissions
have not been challenged by any other eligible candidate. Further, the appellants
have not deprived any other merited students of their legitimate seats.
6. In view of the aforesaid facts and
circumstances, the question that arises for consideration is as to what
appropriate order should be passed, because of the fraud played initially. As
to this, the submission of Shri Venugopal for the appellants is that the State
may not be allowed to blow hot and cold in as much as the members of the then
SSC (who colluded with the appellants) having been even promoted, it does not
lie in the mouth of the State and its concerned officers to demand punishment
of the appellants alone. The learned counsel submitted that both promotion of
members of the then SSC and punishment of the appellants cannot go together;
they have to be treated alike and have to rise and fall together.
7. On the State counsel being asked by us as to
whether the State is prepared to restore the status quo ante regarding the
posts which the concerned members of the SSC were holding at that time, cold
shoulder is shown. Shri Nagaraja states that the officers at this stage cannot
be punished without giving them opportunity. It is really not a question of
punishment to them, but of taking back the reward give. As the State is not
prepared to do so, we do not think if we would be justified in punishing only
one party to the fraud. This would not be equitable. So, even though we
strongly decry and condemn the fraud played by the appellants, the present is
not an occasion where any punishment is deserved at the behest of one who is
not prepared to punish the main culprit, as the members of the SSC have to be
regarded, because, but for their active role, the appellants would not have
succeeded in their highly objectionable and deplorable act. In not allowing the
cancelation to take effect, we have also noted that the appellants have studied
for about two years by now and their action had otherwise not deprived any
other merited student of his legitimate seat.
8. In the result, the appeals are allowed and
the cancellation orders are set aside. We, however, make it clear that this
shall not be treated as a precedent. We leave the parties to bear their own