In a significant order, the Supreme Court has cancelled the counselling conducted so far by private medical colleges for admissions in undergraduate medical course and ordered that a combined counselling be held afresh.
We observe that mandate of our judgment was to hold centralised entrance test followed by centralised state counselling by the State to make it a one composite process. We, therefore, direct that admission to all medical seats shall be conducted by centralised counselling only by the State Government and none else.
If any counselling has been done by any College or University and any admission to any medical seat has been given so far, such admission shall stand cancelled forthwith and admission shall be given only as per centralised counselling done by the State Government.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice A R Dave asked the state government of Madhya Pradesh ( petitioner in the case) to complete within a week the combined counselling process for both private and government colleges.
It said two representatives of private medical colleges would participate in the counselling process to be conducted by the state government.
We may note at this stage that the State Government has done the first counselling. However, the learned Additional Solicitor General has made a statement at the Bar that the State Government is ready to undertake the entire process afresh and assures that it would be completed by 30th September, 2016 which is the last date for admission. We also feel that it is a proper course of action inasmuch as it will enable the private institutions to send their representatives at the place of counselling as per the information which may be displayed by the counselling authority forthwith at its website. We place on record an assurance given by the learned ASG that all seats, whether of Government Colleges or the private institutions, shall be filled up and no seat shall remain vacant.
The order came on a recent contempt petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh government alleging that private medical colleges have been refusing to admit students, who have taken part in the centralised counselling being conducted by it.
The state government, while seeking initiation of contempt action against private medical colleges, alleged that they were conducting the counselling on their own.
The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, R K Agrawal, Adarsh Kumar Goel and R Banumathi, expressed unhappiness over the fact that the private colleges were holding their own counselling.
Yesterday, the apex court had ordered status quo in admission to undergraduate medical courses in private medical institutes in Madhya Pradesh.
The apex court, on April 11, had recalled its 2013 verdict scrapping single common entrance test (NEET) for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges.
As a result, the private colleges are required to get students through NEET.