Mohamed Ibrahim and
Others Vs. Vinayaka Mission University and Others
[Civil Appeal No.
2454 of 2012 arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 25911 of 2010]
Vijay Kumar Kolluri and
others Vs. Vinayaka Mission University and Others.
[Civil Appeal No.
2455 of 2012 arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 25914 of 2010]
University Vs. National Board of Examinations and Others.
[Civil Appeal No.
2456 of 2012 arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 26236 of 2010]
Sairaja Vaikunth and
Others Vs. Vinayaka Mission University and Others.
[Civil Appeal No.
2457 of 2012 arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 19294 of 2011]
J U D G M E N T
R.M. LODHA, J.
to file Special Leave Petition is granted in S.L.P. (C) No. 19294 of 2011.
No. 2 of 2012 - application for impleadment is granted in S.L.P. (C) No. 26236
of 2010. Leave granted in all the Special Leave Petitions.
have heard Mr. G. Umapathy, learned counsel for Vinayaka Mission University, Mr.
K.Ramamoorthy, learned senior counsel and Mr. Dinesh Dwivedi, learned senior counsel
for the students, Mr. R.F. Nariman, learned Solicitor General for the Union of India
and Mr. Amrendra Sharan, learned senior counsel for the Medical Council of India.
Government of India, vide notification dated October 10, 2006, accorded its
approval to the proposal of Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation, Salem, now
Vinayaka 3Mission University (for short "VMRF") as a deemed University
for starting an Off-shore Campus offering medical programmes at Bangkok, Thailand
with an intake capacity and conditions of 100 undergraduate medical students
per annum on the terms and conditions mentioned in the Memorandum of Understanding
dated September 19, 2004 between VMRF and Rangsit University, Thailand. The
approval so granted was subject to certain conditions mentioned at serial No. 9
of the endorsement of the above Notification. The relevant conditions are as
Mission's Research Foundation, Deemed University, Salem along with its constituent
institutions and its off-shore campus in Bangkok, Thailand, will continue to abide
by the norms and guidelines laid down and instructions issued from time to time
by the University Grants Commission pertaining to institutions notified as Deemed
to be Universities.
Mission's Research Foundation, Deemed University's Bangkok, Thailand's Off-shore
Campus shall be subjected to the laws of the land of Thailand as applicable.
students studying at and passing out from the off-shore campus in Thailand shall
be awarded degree by Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation, Deemed University,
clearly distinguishing them (by stating that the degree awarded by Vinayak Mission's
Research Foundation, Deemed University's Bangkok, Thailand Off-shore Campus) from
the degrees awarded by the Deemed University in India.
norms of Medical Council of India, wherever applicable, will continue to be in
force and complied with.
students studying in and passing out from the proposed Off-shore campus centre at
Thailand would be treated as those holding a foreign medical degree and would be
required to qualify the screening test as per the provisions of Indian Medical
Council Act, 1956 and Screening Test Regulations 2002 of Medical Council of India."
the perusal of the above conditions, two things become very clear, namely;
(one) the degree shall be awarded by the VMRF to the students studying at and
passing of the Off-shore Campus, Thailand by clearly stating that the degree
has been awarded by VMRF, Deemed University, Bangkok, Thailand Off-shore campus
and (two) the degree awarded to the students shall be treated as a foreign medical
degree and such students would be required to qualify the screening test as per
the provisions of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and Screening Test
Regulations, 2002 (for short "2002 Regulations") as Medical Council
the provisional MBBS degree awarded to the concerned students by the VMRF (Deemed
University, Bangkok, Thailand Off-shore Campus) is not a degree recognised by
the Medical Council of Thailand. The Medical Council of Thailand has accorded its
approval now to the faculty of Medicine, VMRF as a medical institution for awarding
MBBS degree for five years for the period March 10, 2011 till March 9, 2016. More
over, nothing has been shown either to the High Court or to us that the course in
Thailand is in any way recognised or is approved by the Medical Council of India.
2(f) of 2002 Regulations defines "Primary Medical qualification" which
means a medical qualification awarded by any medical institution outside India
which is a recognised qualification for enrollment as medical practitioner in the
country in which the institution awarding the said qualification is situated and
which is equivalent to MBBS in India. Eligibility criteria for screening test is
provided in Regulation 4 of 2002 Regulations. Regulation 4(1), as was existing during
the relevant time, reads as under:
"(1) No person shall
be allowed to appear in the screening test unless: he/she is a citizen of India
and possesses any primary medical qualification, either whose name and the institution
awarding it are included in the World Directory of Medial Schools, published by
the World Health Organization; or which is confirmed by the Indian Embassy concerned
to be a recognised qualification for enrollment as medical practitioner in the
country in which the institution awarding the said qualification is
students, who are before us, claim to have completed medical course and have
been issued provisional certificate by VMRF on June 20, 2009. One of such certificates
reads as under:
SECTION 3 OF THE UGC ACT, 1956
known as Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation Deemed University)
CAMPUS - BANGKOK- THAILAND
REG. NO. VR MBU 04
This is to certify
that J. MOHAMED IBRAHIM has passed the Final Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of
Surgery Degree Examination held in May, 2009. He/She will be qualified to receive
the M.B.B.S. Degree after satisfactorily completing the prescribed period of Compulsory
Rotatory Resident Internship for one year.
on the above certificate, these students applied for screening test through VMRF
to the National Board of Examination (NBE). NBE did not respond to such applications.
VMRF then moved to the Madras High Court during vacation. The Vacation Judge issued
certain directions. Pursuant thereto, 21 students appeared in the screening test.
Of these 21 students, 4 cleared the screening test. The Writ Petition ultimately
came to be allowed. NBE challenged the judgment and order of the Single Judge
in intra court appeal before the Division Bench. The Division Bench allowed the
appeal and set-aside the judgment and order of the Single Judge.
Division Bench, in the impugned order, has noted that VMRF was not approved by the
Medical Council of Thailand and inspite of opportunity; nothing was produced to
show that the degree awarded by the VMRF was recognised.
bare look at the eligibility criteria provided in Regulation 4(1) of 2002 Regulations
leaves no manner of doubt that a candidate who intends to appear in the screening
test must, inter-alia, possess primary medical qualification. Such qualification
must be a recognised qualification for enrollment as a medical practitioner in the
country in which the institution awarding such qualification is situated.
the provisional degree awarded by the VMRF to these students is not recognised by
the Medical Council of Thailand. These students, who claim to have completed
their course in the off-shore campus of VMRF, are not entitled to register the
degree awarded to them by VMRF with the Medical Council of Thailand. The provisional
degree awarded by VMRF to these students, therefore, does not amount to primary
medical qualification. The view taken by the Division Bench that the students
do not possess eligibility of primary medical qualification, thus, cannot be
said to suffer from any illegality.
K. Ramamoorthy, learned senior counsel for the students heavily relied upon the
decision of this Court in Soham Mayankumar Vyas and others vs. Union of India and
others. However, in view of peculiar factual position of this case as noticed above,
Soham Mayankumar Vyas has no application at all.
Appeals are, accordingly, dismissed with no order as to costs.