Medical College Vs. State of Punjab & Ors.  INSC 469 (8 July 2010)
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.
5168 OF 2010 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.6232 of 2006) And CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5169
OF 2010 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.6234 of 2006) Christian Medical College ...
Appellant State of Punjab & Ors. ... Respondents
In Mridul Dhar v. Union of India [2005 (2) SCC 64], this Court
approved the following time-schedule for admission to medical courses (first
MBBS course) :
Schedule for admission Seats filled up by State Governments/institutions
Conduct of entrance Examination Month of May Declaration of result of
qualifying By 15th June exam/entrance exam First round of counseling/admission
To be over by 17th July Last date for joining the allotted 29th July college
and course Second round of counseling for 25th to 28th August allotment of
seats from waiting list Last date for joining for candidates 30th August
allotted seats in second round of counseling from the waiting list Commencement
of academic Session 1st of August to 31st August Last date up to which students
can be 30th September admitted against vacancies arising due to any reason
The appellant (Christian Medical College, Ludhiana) is a minority
institution running a medical college with an intake capacity of 50. As per the
order dated 1.6.2005 of this Court in W.P. [C] No.357/2004, 75% of the seats
were to be filled according to the choice of the Appellant college from the
members of the minority community and balance 25% seats to be filled by the
candidates allotted by the State on the basis of the merit list prepared 3 by
it. Thus it is not in dispute that for the academic year 2005-06, out of the 50
seats, 38 seats were to be filled by the college with minority students and 12
seats were to be filled by the candidates allotted by the State.
On the ground that the State did not allot any candidate till
30.8.2005 which was the last date as per the schedule approved by this Court in
Mridul Dhar, the appellant college claims to have filled those seats by
candidates from its merit list namely respondents 6 and 17 (respondents 8 to 19
in the second matter).
The State/University allotted candidates towards their quota after
belated counseling with reference to merit list prepared on the basis of second
Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET) during the middle of September, 2005. The
appellant denied to those candidates admission on the ground that the last date
for allotment being over, those seats were filled by candidates from its own
merit list. Aggrieved by their non-admission, six of the State quota allottees,
namely respondents 4 and 5 in the first matter and respondents 4 to 7 in the
second matter, approached the High Court and sought a direction for admission.
Several contentions were urged by the appellant resisting the said
petitions. Ultimately the High Court by a common judgment dated 4.1.2006
allowed the two writ petitions with the following directions :
The admission of the private respondents* to the MBBS course at the CMC for the
academic year 2005-2006 is protected.
petitioners cannot be granted admission in MBBS classes in the current academic
year after 30.9.2005, as their admission would be a midstream admission which
has been prohibited by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
petitioners will be admitted to the MBBS course at the CMC for the academic
session 2006-2007 against the management quota seats in terms of the directive
contained in para 35(11) of Mridul Dhar's judgment, as it has exceeded its
quota during the academic year 2005-2006.
CMC would compensate each of the petitioners with an amount of Rs.2 lacs each
for the loss of one year, for the mental tension and for economic loss caused
CMC is burdened with the costs of Rs.2 lacs to be deposited, with the Baba
Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, within 3 months from today, for
being utilized towards students welfare fund."
`Private respondents' refers to the 12 candidates admitted by the appellant
college against the State quota seats.) (Emphasis supplied)
The said judgment is challenged in these appeals by special leave.
several grounds were urged in the special leave petitions at the time of
hearing, learned counsel for the appellant college submitted that in 5
compliance with the judgment of the High Court, the appellant has admitted the
six writ petitioners (respondents 4 and 5 in the first matter and respondents 4
to 7 in the second matter) for the academic session 2006-07 against the
management quota, and they have been prosecuting their studies without
hindrance and they will not be disturbed by the appellant. As a consequence,
there is no need to examine the several contentions urged in the appeals on
merits challenging the judgment of the High Court.
What remains for consideration is the correctness of the two
directions that the college should compensate the six writ petitioners by
paying Rs.2 lakhs each for the loss of one year and for mental tension and
economic loss, and the direction to pay costs of Rs.2 lakhs to Baba Farid
University of Health Sciences.
Three of the six writ petitioners (respondent No.5 in the first
matter and respondents 4 and 5 in the second matter) have entered appearance
and they submitted that they do not press for payment of the compensation of
Rs. Two lakhs awarded to each of them. The other three writ petitioners
(respondent 4 in the first matter and respondents 6 and 7 in the second matter)
have not appeared and contested the matter.
Learned counsel for the University submitted that the High Court
had examined the matter in detail and costs were awarded in view of the failure
of the appellant college to admit the candidates allotted by the State and
admission of candidates of its own choice to the State quota seats. He
submitted that the order of the High Court regarding costs did not call for
In view of the above, the question is whether the direction for
payment of compensation of Rs. Two Lakhs each to respondent 4 in the first
matter and respondents 6 and 7 in the second matter, and the award of costs of
Rs.2 lakhs to the University, require interference. The fact that the time
schedule laid down in Mridul Dhar was not followed by the State and the
University is not in dispute. In fact the High Court has recorded the following
findings in regard to the delays on the part of the State/University:
reasons for not being able to abide by the time schedule laid down in Mridul
Dhar's case (supra) are known to every one concerned with the matter. The 1st
PMET 2005 was held on 5th June 2005. As there was leakage of question papers,
therefore, the said entrance test was cancelled as a whole on 7.6.2005. The 2nd
PMET was held on 30.6.2005 and the result thereof, was declared on 2.7.2005.
Because of wrong key answers, the merit list prepared on the basis of the 2nd
PMET held on 30.6.2005 was challenged in this Court through CWP No.10272 of
2005 (Saumil Garg and others vs. State of Punjab and others) and a large bunch
of similar writ petitions. This Court directed the preparation of correct key
answer vide its judgment dated 8.8.2005. Guru Nanak Dev University which was
one 7 of the respondents in that case, filed a petition for Special Leave to
Appeal (Civil) No. 16952 of 2005. The said petition/appeal was decided by the
Hon'ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 24.8.2005. The answer sheets of
candidates who had taken the 2nd PMET, were required to be re- evaluated on the
basis of correct key answers in respect of 8 questions.
result of the 2nd PMET was to be declared within two days, and a further period
of 72 hours was granted to the candidates to file objection (as per the
decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court). Admittedly, the result of 2nd PMET-2005
was declared on 29.8.2005.
narration of the facts stated above clearly revels, that the time schedule as
laid down in the regulation dated 25.2.2004 issued by the MCI and as approved
by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Mridul Dhar's judgment (supra), could not be
observed for admission to the MBBS courses, in so far as the State quota is
concerned, as the dates for holding of entrance test (in May) declaration of
the result of entrance test (15th June), the date of first round of
counseling/admission (17th July) and the date of second round the counseling or
allotment of seats from waiting list (25th to 28th August) had already expired,
before the result was declared on 29.8.2005, and therefore, the observance of
these dates was not at all possible by any stretch of imagination."
even assuming that the appellant had read the judgment in Mridul Dhar
selectively to achieve its object, as held by the High Court, we are of the
view that the award of compensation of Rs. Two lakhs on each of the six writ
petitioners may not be warranted, as there was also a clear violation of the
time schedule by the State. The writ petitioners have been accommodated and
they no longer have any grievance. As the State/University were responsible for
the delay in conforming to the schedule for counseling and allotment of
candidates under the State quota, on account of leakage of question papers and
preparation of wrong key- 8 answers, which resulted in the non-admission of the
six writ petitioners, the award of costs in favour of the University was not
We accordingly allow these appeals in part and set aside
directions (4) and (5) in the impugned order of the High Court for payment of
compensation of Rs.2 lakhs to each of the six writ petitioners and the levy of
costs of Rs.2 lakhs in favour of the University. We make it clear that we have
not expressed any opinion regarding directions (1) to (3) as they have been
accepted and acted upon by the appellant college.
Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that in regard to the
12 students admitted by the appellant against the vacant State quota seats,
that is respondents 6 to 17 (who are respondents 8 to 19 in the second matter),
the marks sheets have not been released by the University on the ground of
non-payment of costs of Rs. Two lakhs and pendency of these appeals.
as those 12 students are concerned, the High Court had protected their
admission and held that their admission need not be disturbed. We extract below
the relevant observations of the High Court :
far as quashing of the admission granted to the private respondents in the CMC
against the Government quota seats is concerned, undoubtedly, their admission
is on provisional basis, but nothing has been placed on the file to show if
these candidates had played any condemnable role in seeking admission, or that
they had connived with the CMC for getting admission to the course under
reference. It seems that the private 9 respondents have been given admission by
the CMC out of its own merit list prepared on the basis of the entrance test
conducted by it. In our view, therefore, it is only the CMC, which is
responsible for admitting the private respondents against the seats of
Government quota. Therefore, the career of the private respondents, who have been
admitted in the CMC against the State quota seats should not be cut down for
the fault of CMC."
circumstances the University will have to deal with the said 12 students as
having been regularly admitted and if their results or marks sheets or other
documents have been withheld, release the same without delay.
..............................J. (R V Raveendran)