Transfer 150 PRIMS MBBS students to Private Medical Colleges: Supreme Court upholds Madras HC order
Chennai: The Supreme Court, in its recent verdict on the case of 150 2nd-year MBBS students of the defunct Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Medical Sciences (PRIMS), has upheld the Madras High Court order directing the transfer of these students to 6 private medical colleges in the state.
According to recent media reports, the bench of honourable Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna refused to interfere with the HC order and passed its directive while disposing of the plea filed by MBBS students seeking transfer from the defunct PRIMS to government medical colleges.
The decision of shifting these MBBS students was taken by the state government after noting the lack of facilities for clinical practice and lab studies at the newly founded medical institute, PRIMS.
Medical Dialogues had extensively reported about the MBBS students, who moved HC seeking the transfer from PRIMS. According to these students, who were admitted in the first year MBBS course during 2016-17 under the government and management quota after passing NEET, the medical college was started from the 2016-17 academic year after obtaining approval from the state and central governments and MCI.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare debarred the college from making MBBS admissions for 2017-18 and 2018-19 as it had failed to rectify the ‘deficiencies’ pointed out by the MCI earlier.
On 3rd October, the Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan had written a letter to the Union Health Ministry Secretary seeking its concurrence for shifting 150 second year MBBS students of PRIMS to the other self-financing medical colleges, since the GMCs were already overloaded.
On this, the HC had directed the state to apprise the Centre as well as MCI of the vacant seats available in different private colleges and how the 150 MBBS students could be accommodated over there.
The counsel for the students in court, however, demanded that all the MBBS students have to be accommodated only in GMCs since there is an apprehension that some of the private medical colleges may also face the same problem like PRIMS in future and the students will be in trouble.
Throughout all the hearing sessions, the state reiterated its submission that it was not possible to accommodate the present 150 MBBS students in GMCs as in compliance with the earlier HC order, the government had shifted about 144 students of Anna Malai Medical College and Hospital to various GMCs last year only.
In response to this order, the state moved the division bench where the bench directed the state to submit a fresh proposal to the MCI BoG for the purpose of accommodating the students. The MCI BoG was then asked to consider the said proposal and take a decision accordingly.
Thereafter, the Union Health Ministry produced a communication informing the division bench of Madras HC that necessary permission has been accorded to increase the respective number of seats to the 6 institutes.
In view of this, the HC ordered the shifting of the MBBS students to the self-financing medical colleges in the state including
- Raja Muthiah Medical College and Research Institute, Chidambaram
- Karpagavinayaga Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre, Kancheepuram
- Karpagam Faculty of Medical Science and Research, Coimbatore
- Tagore Medical College Hospital, Madurai
- Vellammal Medical College Hospital Madurai
- Adiparasakthi Medical College and Research Institute, Melmaruvathur.
Now, according to a report by The Hindu, the apex court, upholding the HC order, has stated,
“All 108 students of PRIMS cannot be accommodated in government colleges. The students have been directed to be accommodated in other medical colleges. We find no reason to interfere with the order impugned…”
TOI quotes the SC bench as saying,
"Needles to mention that the direction of the high court to accommodate the students shall be complied with and that the authorities shall ensure that the petitioners do not have to discontinue their course by reason of closure of medical colleges"