Kerala Former Justice, Supreme Court P. Sathasivam, the former Chief Justice of India and the present Governor of Kerala, has signed the ordinance introduced by Kerala Government to regularize admissions in two self-financing medical colleges, which had earlier been cancelled by the Supreme Court. Ironically, the Governor had earlier, returned the Ordinance without signing, citing legal anomalies. The ordinance introduced by the Kerala government is meant to regularize around 180 admissions to MBBS seats for the academic year 2016-17 in Kannur and Karuna Medical Colleges, which were cancelled by the Apex Court on the ground that they were made in a non-transparent and arbitrary manner
The Ordinance holds the 180 applicants of the two colleges innocent stating that the ones who applied are not to be blamed for the cancellations.
Following are the relevant sections of the new ordinance :
Section 2: Enables the government to regularize the admissions in any medical college during the academic year 2016/2017 ignoring any judgment, decree, order or proceedings of any court or the Admission Supervisory Committee.
Section 3 : Asks the management of the colleges seeking regularization to submit an application to that effect, within fifteen days.
Section 5: The Ordinance also fixes a regularization fee for cancelled admissions at Rupees Three Lakhs per student
In an earlier story done by Medical Dialogues, it had been reported that the Supreme Court justifying cancellations based on the High Court’s October 2016 order stated reasons for cancellations on Kannur and Karuna Medical Colleges to have been non-transparency of online admission details of students and non-publishing of the corrected prospectus on their respective websites. The Bench after perusal of student documents had indicated their fabrication, thus putting an end to all hope pinned by students involved in the litigation. The Supreme Court even considered directing criminal action against the errant management.
It was understood that both Kannur and Karuna medical colleges had not signed any pact with the government before going into the admission process and had conducted them on their own. The University of Health Sciences, on the other hand, had earlier announced that it would not be responsible for admissions taken by students in Kannur and Karuna Medical Colleges, one of the nine debarred against admissions for the academic year 2016-17.
The James Committee declared 30 Karuna Medical College students ineligible for admissions.
The state government in order to save the future students, whose admissions had been cancelled and who were being prevented from getting admissions in other colleges, decided to bring in an ordinance. There was immense apprehension expressed at that point about the ordinance’s legal sanctity, by state sources.
It was felt that if the ordinance was successfully implemented, it was likely to regularize other college medical seat admissions, which had earlier set aside by the Admission Supervisory Committee.
A voice of dissent was being heard government circles on whether the ordinance would stand legal scrutiny.
The 150 admission cancellations for 2016-17 to Kannur Medical College had been done by Justice James Committee for fee regulation when it found the admissions to be irregular and its decision was upheld by the High Court and later the apex court as well.