The Supreme Court has directed a Lucknow-based medical college to pay Rs10 lakh each to 150 students as compensation for illegal admissions and also slapped a fine of Rs25 lakh on the college, which is to be paid to the SC registry.
Amidst an ongoing investigation into a judicial nexus in illegal medical college admissions, the apex court also sternly admonished a bench of the Allahabad high court for permitting the admissions against the SC directive.
The court asked the college to refund the admission fee paid by the students and slapped a fine of Rs 25 lakh to be paid to the SC registry. It also barred the college from admitting students for the next academic year of 2018-19.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud pulled up the division bench of the Allahabad high court, calling it a case of "judicial indiscipline and impropriety."
"We really fail to fathom the manner in which the high court has misconstrued our order and passed the final order for 2017-18. We are issuing notice only to test the propriety of the order and also if the institution is eligible to get the renewal of letter of permission for 2018-19," the bench had said while entertaining an appeal filed by MCI.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh and lawyer Gaurav Sharma, appearing for the Medical Council of India (MCI), told the SC bench that the HC allowed the medical college to admit students without even a formal permission from the centre and without any infrastructure necessary for a medical college.
The SC noted the HC bench had virtually overruled the SC order, transgressing all rules and regulations. "It is most unfortunate, which may cause [an] institutional problem," the bench said and hinted that it may address the issue on the administrative side.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the college, said the institution should not be punished for the HC's wrong verdict but the bench remained firm.
A bench of the Allahabad HC was recently in the news after the CBI arrested a retired judge of the Orissa HC, I M Quddusi, for allegedly conspiring to facilitate a favourable order for a college run by Prasad Education Trust - also a Lucknow-based institution. Quddusi had earlier served in the Allahabad HC.
The SC order assumes significance in view of allegations of a middlemen-judges nexus for getting favourable judgments in cases of medical admissions. The CBI arrested Quddusi and five others for allegedly conspiring to "settle" an MCI order debarring a private medical college from MBBS admissions. The case exposed the rot and corruption in medical education.