By Sanjiv Dube
NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court appointed Lodha
Oversight Committee (OC) has settled itself in the MCI's driver's seat
and has, in fact, taken decisions that may embarrass the
MCI's governing body.
On August 13 the three member Justice R M
Lodha-led committee overturned the Council’s decision
denying permission to start/establish 86 new medical
colleges for the current academic session starting
The panel, reviewing MCI’s rejections, granted
permission to 26 new colleges out of the 86 rejected
earlier and promptly sent its recommendations to the
Health Ministry, paving the way for the establishment of
these colleges, which will be added to the existing 400.
The panel has
given private medical colleges the permission to teach
courses which they had been forbidden from running after being
found to be lacking the required infrastructure.
While the MCI denied permission to
start/establish new colleges on the basis of MCI's team
inspection which found the faculty and infrastructure
lacking in the colleges the Lodha panel overturned the
MCI decision on the basis of colleges' claims on their
websites and affidavits.
The panel has asked colleges to
submit an undertaking to MCI that they would comply with
all the norms and won't remain deficient when the new
session starts on September 30. The panel has also
reserved the right to inspect these colleges before or
after September 30 and if any non-compliance is found,
it can withdraw the permission. “If the committee is not
satisfied while conducting its own inspection, it
reserves the right to debar new colleges from admissions
for the subsequent two years,“ an MCI official said.
The 26 new colleges allowed to start enrolment will also
have to deposit bank guarantees worth Rs 2 crore each to
Among the newly approved institutions are Ananta
Institute of Medical Sciences, Rajasthan; NIMRA
Institute of Medical Sciences, Andhra Pradesh; Saraswati
Medical College, UP; Sri Sakshi Medical College, Madhya
Pradesh; World College of Medical Sciences, Jhajjar,
Haryana; Kerala Medical College; NC Medical College,
Panipat (Haryana); Local Medical College, Saharanpur and
Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow.
After the MCI rejected 86 applications, the Lodha panel
(OC) comprising ex-CJI Lodha, former CAG
Vinod Rai and renowned liver expert SK Sarin opened a
fresh window from June 15 to 22 asking applicants to
apply afresh and show compliance.
“The OC received 39 applications from institutions
promising compliance by September 30 when the new
session starts. The panel after considering these cases
has granted a go-ahead in 26 cases,” a Health Ministry
Lodha report relied on colleges' website info
According to a Times of India report the
Lodha committee granted conditional approval to 26 new
medical colleges based on information and “snapshots“
uploaded on college websites being verified by technical
“In an MBBS institute in Chhattisgarh, it appeared
that teaching faculty were just called for
assessment...In another hospital, many patients who were
not genuine and did not require admission were admitted
in wards,“ an MCI official said, pointing to instances
in the report that are reminiscent of the Sanjay
Dutt-starrer Bollywood hit.
“Availability of faculty on the website was
considered supportive evidence from the applicant
colleges before being considered favourably for
approval. Snapshots of infrastructure from the websites
wherever available were also obtained and kept on
record,“ the Lodha report, reviewed by TOI, said.
The report also noted that the “position of faculty
was independently verified through the technical
consultant with reference to websites of the respective
medical colleges too, by June 16, 2016“.
But MCI teams, which inspected the sites, found that
some hospitals were “under construction“ while some
others resisted or “would not allow inspection“. For
instance, a college in UP did not permit inspection on
the ground of holidays for Holi and Good Friday. In some
cases, the bed occupancy was as low as 12%, ICUs and
OPDs were found locked and non-operational, the MCI's
inspection report said.
However, the panel, headed by ex-Chief Justice of
India R M Lodha, maintained it took a “considered view“
that was “in best interest of medical education“.
Speaking to TOI, Justice Lodha said, “We received over
100 complaints alleging irregularities in MCI
inspection. Some said the inspections were carried out
during holidays, while many alleged discrimination
between government and private medical colleges.“
He said the oversight committee had asked the MCI to
re-inspect the applicant sites. “However, the MCI did
not follow our directive and this itself is violation of
the SC order,“ Lodha said, adding that the committee was
left with no other means but the college websites to
verify compliance. It hired two independent consultants
-- one each from Lucknow and Delhi -- to verify the
information given by colleges.
“We do not want to compromise on quality of medical
education and, therefore, we have attached conditions to
the approvals. We have told the colleges that by
September 30 everything should fall in place and we
reserve the right to inspect the facilities and if any
deficiency is found they will be barred for two
simultaneous years,“ Lodha said.
only, says SC. Rejects states' claim
NEW DELHI : On a day of high hopes for states and
private colleges, the Supreme Court special bench
reiterated its curt April 28
leaving little space for states and private
Continuing hearing in
Sankalp Charitable Trust case on
May 9 the bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A.K.
Goel ordered that all admissions for undergraduate medical and dental
courses for the academic year 2016-17 must be made only on the basis of
the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to be conducted by the
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on July 24 this year.
In no uncertain
terms, the bench refused to allow the states of Tamil Nadu (which admits
students on the basis of higher secondary marks), Kerala, Andhra
Pradesh, Telangana state, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and others to
admit students in government colleges on the basis of their own common
entrance tests -- either conducted or to be conducted.
“We do not find any
merit in the applications seeking modification of order dated April 28,
2016. Only other contention relates to perceived hardship to the
students who have either applied for Neet-I but could not appear or who
appeared but could not prepare fully thinking that the preparation was
to be only for 15 per cent of all India seats and there will be further
opportunity to appear in other examinations. To allay any such
apprehension, we direct that all such eligible candidates who could not
appear in Neet-I and those who had appeared but have apprehension they
had not prepared well, be permitted to appear in Neet-II, subject to
seeking an option from the said candidates to give up their candidature
for Neet-I,” the court ruled.
The order said :
“Prima facie, we do not find any infirmity in the Neet regulation on the
ground that it affects the rights of the states or the private
institutions. Special provisions for reservation of any category are not
subject matter of the Neet nor rights of minority are in any manner
affected by Neet. Neet only provides for conducting entrance test for
eligibility for admission to the MBBS/BDS course,” the bench said.
The bench bluntly
turned down the plea of private medical colleges, deemed universities
and association of unaided private colleges to permit admission in their
colleges on the basis of entrance tests conducted by them for the 50 per
cent seats. The bench thereby refused to modify its April 28 order that
all admissions should be made strictly on the basis of NEET rankings.
permitted all those who had participated in NEET-I held on May 1 to
again write the NEET-II exam to be held in July but said that they will
have to give up their May 1 test.
The bench said, “It
would be open to the respondents to reschedule the date of holding
Neet-II, if necessary. We may also add here that to ensure total
credibility of the examination to be held by the CBSE, the Oversight
Committee (headed by Justice Lodha) shall also oversee the Neet-II
The CBSE, which
already fixed the NEET Phase-II on July 24, may reschedule it if
necessary, it added.
Many states and private consortia of colleges had argued
that their own exams were either over or were in the process of being
held and had sought NEET to be deferred till the next academic year.
However the bench said it
didn't find "any merit" in the applications seeking a modification of
its April 28 order.
In its 6-page order,
the court cited its
Constitution bench decision of May 2 wherein the
contention of private medical colleges, including those run by
minorities, that holding of entrance test by the state violated their
right of autonomy has been rejected.
While the state
governments had the legislative competence to make laws for regulating
standards of medical education under the Concurrent List, but after the
Central government makes a law, the Centre’s power under the
Constitution will prevail upon the states’ statutes, the court had then
AP EAMCET result
After four hours of
suspense, Eamcet results were released in Visakhapatnam on late May 9
evening, but only for the Engineering stream due to the ongoing Neet
clouded the validity of the Eamcet medical stream with regards to the
Supreme Court judgment, the Eamcet medical results were postponed.
HRD minister Ganta
Srinivasa Rao released the results here. The results were supposed to be
released at 10 am on Monday. But pending the apex court’s judgment, the
authorities postponed them till evening as they had filed a petition for
exemption from Neet.
About 1,79,465 students had appeared for the Eamcet
engineering exam and about 81.08 per cent qualified. Girls outperformed
boys with 82.67 per cent qualifying Eamcet engineering. Satti Vamsi
Krishna Reddy from Visakhapatnam bagged first rank with 158 marks.
SC bars pvt colleges/assn to hold admission test
By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI : Giving another pungent blow to private
college owners and their associations the Supreme Court
barred them from holding any kind of admission test for MBBS or BDS
seats. The bar will also be applicable on the deemed
universities, the court said.
The bench said "it is clarified that no
examination shall be permitted to be
held for admission to MBBS or BDS studies by any private
college or association or any private/deemed
Continuing daily hearing in
Sankalp Charitable Trust case
on May 6 the three-judge bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and A.K. Goel said the
issue with regard to students who had appeared or who
are due to appear in examinations conducted by the
states in accordance with local laws, shall be decided
after hearing the Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar on May
The bench said students who had appeared for Neet
Phase-I on May 2 would not be permitted to take Neet
Phase-II. Those who could not appear for the phase-I
test may appear for the second phase on July 24.
The court is expected to allow Tamil Nadu to admit
students on the basis of marks in the higher secondary
exam. Students of states like Telangana, Andhra Pra-desh,
Kerala, Maharas-htra and Gujarat maybe allowed to admit
students on the basis of local CETs.
Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, submitted that if private
colleges are not allowed to make admissions through
their own CET or through the association of private
medical colleges, they were not obliged to surrender 50
per cent of their seats to the government quota and that
this would result in a piquant situation.
Mr Ranjit Kumar informed the court that the Centre had convened
a meeting this weekend with all the stake-holders. He
would inform the court on Monday of the outcome of the
meeting so that it can pass appropriate orders.
“We want NEET. On the legal side, we supported it. But I
have to take instructions if states can be allowed to
hold their tests this year or not. We want to resolve
the issue after discussing with them,” he said.
The order came as a window of hope for states opposing
NEET. The states contended that their students were not
prepared to take the test as some of them studied in the
SC allows states to hold
own med admission test
By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI : On May 2 the Supreme Court delivered a
severe blow to profiteering private colleges and upheld
the autonomy of the states to enact own laws to hold
common entrance tests (Cets) for admission to
professional courses and to fix fees for the said
A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Justices
Anil R. Dave, A.K. Sikri, R.K. Agrawal, A.K. Goel and R. Banumathi gave this
ruling while upholding a law
enacted by the Madhya Pradesh government to regulate
admission of students in postgraduate courses in private
The bench dismissed appeals from Modern
Dental College, Madhya Pradesh and others and said that
the state had the right to hold common admission test
for professional colleges and to fix the quantum of fee
to be charged by private colleges.
The bench said that in the garb of “right
to occupation, private institutions cannot transgress
the rights of the students." The bench agreed that "the
fundamental rights of colleges to run their
administration, includes fixation of fee. However, such
right in turn has to be balanced with the rights of the
students, so that they are not subjected to exploitation
in the form of profiteering."
judgement, Justice Sikri,
said that the right of a state to hold common admission
is subject to a Central law. Once the notifications
under Central statutes for conducting common entrance
test called NEET become operative, it will be a matter
between the states and the Union, which will have to be
sorted out on the touchstone of Article 254 of the
Three-member panel set up to oversee MCI act
Further, taking note of an expert committee’s report
about corruption in the functioning of Medical Council
of India in the grant of affiliation to medical
colleges, the bench set up a three-member oversight
panel headed by former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha
to oversee all statutory functions under the MCI Act.
All policy decisions of the MCI will require approval of
the Oversight Committee. The Committee which also
includes Prof. (Dr.) Shiv Sareen (Director, Institute of
Liver and Biliary Sciences) and Shri Vinod Rai (former
Comptroller & Auditor General of India) will be free to
issue appropriate remedial directions.
The Committee will function till the Central
Government puts in place any other appropriate mechanism
after due consideration of the Expert Committee Report.
Initially the Committee will function for a period of
one year, unless suitable mechanism is brought in place
earlier which will substitute the said Committee.
The bench pointed out that by enacting the State law
incidents of corruption in the State machinery were
brought in the public eye immediately and have been
The same could never have been done in case of
private actions. Even on a keel of comparative
efficiency, it is more than evident that the State
process is far more transparent and fair than one that
is devised by the private colleges which have no
mechanism of any checks and balances. The bench directed
the matter to be listed for hearing after one year.
is back, SC bench scraps earlier judgement
By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI : In a landmark move the Supreme Court of
India on April 11 recalled its one of the most
controversial judgements --
case judgement -- and ordered that "the
case be heard afresh".
The case, called
National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)
case was delivered on July 18, 2013 by the Chief Justice
of India Altamas Kabir a day
before he was to retire, giving ample relief to private
medical colleges. Some
private medical colleges had challenged the Medical
Council of India and Dental Council of India regulations
on admissions to medical and dental college -- and the
relief allowed them to have their way in the matter of
recall of the judgement
status quo ante has been restored and the MCI has
been told to organise a combined all-India admission
test for private and government medical colleges.
However, the MCI vice-chairman Dr C V
Bhirmanandham has expressed his inability to hold the
all-India test this year because of paucity of time and
this may allow the private players to have their way
this year as well.
Hearing the review petitions on April 11
the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by
Justice A R Dave and comprising Justices A K Sikri, R K
Agrawal, A K Goel and R Banumathi recalled the
dated July 18, 2013 which had quashed NEET.
It said the “majority verdict“ delivered by then Chief
Justice Altamas Kabir did not consider an earlier SC
judgment that was binding on the bench, nor had he
consulted other members of his bench.
Incidentally Justice A R Dave, who headed
the 5-judge Constitution bench that recalled the earlier
order had given a dissenting verdict in the NEET case.
In his April 11 order he specified that he was not
consulted by the then CJI
The April 11 order comes just a month
before separate entrance tests are to be held for
government and private medical colleges, putting lakhs
of students in confusion. There are over 400 medical
colleges in the country and lakhs of students sit for
admission tests for over 52,000 MBBS seats. Since 2013,
state governments and private colleges have conducted
separate examinations for these.
Monday's order leaves Medical Council of India with the
onerous task of conducting the NEET at a short notice as
students have already filled in forms for several
judgment reviving the NEET
was pronounced in open court, stunned lawyers appearing
for private colleges, pleaded that the SC clarify the
consequences. The bench replied that “natural
consequence“ was that NEET comes into force. It said the
court would give a fresh hearing on constitutional
validity of NEET but in the meantime, the exam will be
restored. The lawyers then pleaded that the MCI's
notification to bring NEET back be stayed till its
validity was decided afresh and said that in 2013, too,
an interim stay was given. The bench, however, rejected
the plea saying the interim order was only for one
academic session and it could not continue.
“After giving our thoughtful and due
consideration, we are of the view that the judgment
delivered in Christian Medical College needs
reconsideration,“ the bench said.
Recalling earlier order the Constitution
bench allowed review petitions by the Union government
and the Medical Council of India (MCI) against the July
18, 2013, verdict and restored the NEET 2011
“The NEET regulations are restored and MCI can conduct
the examinations pending the fresh judgement,” the order
According to the 2011 notification, the
CBSE was to conduct the tests for admission to MBBS and
BDS courses and the National Board of Examination for
the PG programmes.
The 2013 verdict
The 2013 verdict had created a buzz in
the apex court corridors as an advocate had posted the
outcome on a social networking site in advance. However,
Justice Kabir had reportedly said he was not aware of
the leak of the judgment.
While Justice Vikramjit Sen (since retired) had shared
the views and findings of Justice Kabir against the
NEET, Justice Dave had in his dissenting verdict said
that the three judges "had no discussion on the subject
due to paucity of time". Justice Dave had stressed that
this was not the normal practice.
Justice Dave had written in 2013 that
“one of the main considerations of having one common
entrance test conducted by the Medical Council of India
is to check the malaise of money-making business in the
admission process by selling their seats for crores,
which has been going on for the last so many years in
The Christian Medical College, Vellore;
the States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; several
associations of private medical colleges; DD Medical
College and DD Hospital, Tamil Nadu; and various private
medical colleges had filed petitions in High Courts and
obtained an interim stay on the applicability of the
NEET on them. On the MCI’s petitions, these cases were
transferred to the Supreme Court.
No quota in PG admissions,
By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI : On October 27, 2015 the Supreme Court directed
the Union government and all state government to
ensure that super-speciality medical admissions are kept
"unreserved, open and free" following complaints that
some southern states were allowing only domiciled MBBS doctors to
appear for PG medical entrance exams.
Delivering a 58-page judgment in
Dr. Sandeep and others versus Union of India and
others the bench of Justice
Dipak Misra and Justice P.C. Pant said that there should
be no reservation in post-graduate medical courses based
on caste, religion, residence or any other criteria.
The order came on a batch of petitions
challenging the domicile policy followed by Andhra
Pradesh and Telangana based on the Presidential order,
namely, Andhra Pradesh Educational Institutions
(Regulations and Admissions) order of 1974 promulgated
under Article 371(D) of the Constitution which gave
special privileges of education and employment to the
local people of Andhra Pradesh.
The bench cited an earlier case -
Pradeep Jain versus the Union of India and others
- in which the top court had held in 1984 that
merit was the sole criterion when it came to super-speciality
medical admissions. But till date, it said, the
government has not framed any rules or guidelines to
implement the directive.
"In the Dr Pradeep Jain case this court... observed
that in super-specialities there should really be no
reservation. This is... for improving the standard of
higher education and thereby... the quality of available
medical services...," Justice Misra, who wrote the
"We hope and trust that the Government of India and
the state governments shall seriously consider this
aspect... without delay and appropriate guidelines shall
be evolved by the Indian Medical Council so as to keep
the super specialities... unreserved, open and free."
The petitioner doctors had complained that while in
most of India they are allowed to appear in entrance
exams of different states for courses like DM (Doctor of
Medicine) and MCh (Master of Chirurgiae), Andhra
Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu permitted only those
domiciled in these states.
This, they said, means that while candidates
domiciled in these states can sit for exams in other
states, students from other states are barred from
taking exams in these states.
The petitioners said this went against
constitutional provisions like Articles 14 (equality
before law) and 16 (equality of opportunity in public
employment, education, etc.).
The court asked the Andhra and Telangana authorities to
objectively assess the policy to see whether it does
justice to the aspirations of students and approach the
issue keeping national interest as paramount.
The petitions filed said how students from other States,
namely, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan,
Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and Haryana,
allow candidates from all over India to appear in the
It complained that States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
and Tamil Nadu confine the eligibility only to the
candidates having domicile in their respective States.
This judgment only deals with the two States of Andhra
and Telangana. The bench observed that it would consider
Tamil Nadu's case separately in a hearing scheduled for
November 4, 2015.
Supreme Court defends
MCI's PG admission rules
By Rajiv Shukla
NEW DELHI: On January 12 the Supreme Court upheld the
Medical Council of India's (MCI) postgraduate admission
regulations and quashed Kerala government's
decision to reserve seats for doctors working in its
hospitals and other departments.
The court said, in no uncertain terms,
that the admissions to the postgraduate medical courses
can be done only on the basis of merit of students
appearing in the common entrance examination.
The apex court division bench comprising
Justices T S Thakur and R Banumathi said
Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations of the
Medical Council of India, 2000 were
binding and state governments could not make any rule in
violation of the regulations.
The state, the apex court said, overstepped its
jurisdiction by making a law earmarking 40% of total
seats available to the state quota for its medical
officers who were to get admission on the basis of their
seniority, without appearing in the entrance
Delivering its judgement in
Sudhir N. & ors. versus State of
Kerala & ors.
on January 12 the
bench said : "Regulation 9 (of MCI) is, in our opinion, a complete
code by itself inasmuch as it prescribes the basis for
determining the eligibility of the candidates including
the method to be adopted for determining the inter se
merit which remains the only basis for such admissions.
To the performance in the entrance test can be added
weightage on account of rural service rendered by the
candidates in the manner and to the extent indicated,"
The court said the method, however, was given a go-by by
the impugned legislation when it provided that
in-service candidates seeking admission in the quota
shall be granted such admission not on the basis of one
of the methodologies but on the basis of seniority of
"When the maximum marks to be obtained in the entrance
test for admission to the institutions for higher
education including higher medical education are fixed,
the state cannot adversely affect the standards laid
down by the Union government. It was held that it is for
the MCI to determine reservation to be made for SC/ST
and OBC candidates and lowering the qualifying marks in
their favour," it said.
Upholding the order, the apex court, however, objected
to the observation made by the High Court in which it said that
seniority of in-service candidates should be considered
while preparing merit list.
"A meritorious in-service candidate cannot be denied
admission only because he has an eligible senior above
him though lower in merit. It is now fairly well settled
that merit and merit alone can be the basis of
admission. Their merit cannot be overlooked only to
promote seniority which has no place in the scheme of
MCI regulations," it said.