Branding Character of MBBS student Not Satisfactory: Mookambika Medical College to pay Rs 20 Lakh compensation
Chennai: Condemning the unwarranted and illegal entry made a private medical college in the Transfer Certificate issued to an MBBS student that read his conduct and character as "Not Satisfactory", the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum of Tamil Nadu directed Shree Mookambika Institute of Medical Sciences (Mookambika Medical College) to pay a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for spoiling the future of the medico.
The MBBS student completed his course from the medical college in August 2011. Thereafter, he was granted his provisional registration certificate issued by the Tamil Nadu Medical Council for a period of 1 year. During this period, the medico had to undergo Compulsory Rotating Resident Internship (CRRI).
During his internship, the medico's aged-parents were diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and limb ischemia. Following this, the MBBS student applied for transfer of CRRI from Mookambika Medical College to the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore as the medico was the only person to take care of his ailing parents, who were getting treated in Vellore.
However, the medical college refused to transfer him to CMC although CMC gave its approval for the same. The medico then approached the MGR Medical University seeking the transfer but there was no progress.
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Thereafter, the MBBS student moved the Madras High Court in 2012, that directed the medical college to issue a ‘No objection certificate’ to the medico on his paying Rs 75000 to the institute towards the same.
In counter-response, the institute challenged the court's order before a division bench. The bench while dismissing the institute's plea, once again directed the medical college to issue the NOC and all other certificates as per the medico's entitlement, while referring to the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations held at paragraph 13, that transfer of internship from one college to another college is not automatic, but ‘No objection certificate’ could be issued only on genuine grounds.
The division bench had stated; ‘We don’t find any reasons warranting interference with the order of the learned single Judge and the appeal is liable to be dismissed’.
Subsequently, the MBBS student moved the forum. During the proceedings, the counsel of the medical college submitted that the conduct of the student had to be assessed only by the college authority, the medical college herein and accordingly the medico’s conduct and character have been stated ‘not satisfactory’.
In response to this, the petitioner's counsel stated that the improper and unreasonable entry has been made by the medical college merely because the MBBS student had filed a petition before the high court seeking judicial redressal for his legitimate grievance. The counsel added;
" Had the conduct and character of the medico was really not satisfactory, the medical college could have stated the same in the counter filed by it in the writ petition pending before the High Court."
After hearing both the parties, Justice S.Tamilvanan President noted that the medical college had made the illegal entry since the student filed a petition with the high court against it. The court while condemning the improper attitude of the college stated;
"There is no iota of evidence or materials on the side of the medical college to justify the unreasonable entry made in the Transfer Certificate and course completion certificate, stating the conduct and character of the complainant, ‘ not satisfactory’."
The court observed that the unwarranted and improper entry made by the institute has spoiled the MBBS student’s career and also his future for no fault of him. The court noted;
It is well settled that in a democratic country no authority is empowered to act against the law or misuse the authority since no one is above the law and further the Educational Institutions should have broad-mindedness towards the students, as they are the pillars of the Nation.
The court added;
"In the instant case, the issuance of transfer certificate and course completion certificate for the complainant, stating that his conduct and character “Not Satisfactory”, so as to spoil the future of the complainant is totally unwarranted, biased which cannot be accepted by any reasonable prudent man."
The court went through the evidence and the arguments advanced by both parties and considered that the medical college has not only caused deficiency of service but also followed unfair trade practice against the medico. The court pointed out;
"We make it clear that no education institutions should treat the students as enemies and make them victims on trivial reasons, as the same would be highly condemnable."
Subsequently, the court directed the medical college to cough Rs 20 lakh compensation for deficiency of service and issue proper and corrected Transfer Certificate and Course Completion Certificate. The court ordered;
We also make it clear that in addition to the compensation, the 1 opposite party shall issue st proper corrected Transfer certificate and course completion certificate to the complainant stating that the conduct and character of the complainant “Satisfactory” to meet ends of justice, within one month from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, since the entry made in the certificate stating “ Not satisfactory” is totally baseless, unreasonable biased and unsustainable in law.