Education – Self Financing Institutions – Considering the larger public interest involved and to safe guard the rights and interest of the students and others at large, it shall be incorporated hereafter in the Prospectus of all concerned, that particulars of applications [to be submitted only ‘online’], schedule of dates in respect of the various steps/procedures in connection with the admission, particulars of the defects noted, if any, date enabling the students to rectify the defects, particulars of rejection of application, if any, with reasons, particulars of the list of admitted students, in the different rounds of allotment; ‘Waiting list’ of the candidates on inter-se merit to be considered for spot admission in respect of the vacancies, if any, resulted on or before the cut off date etc. shall be simultaneously published in the website of the Committee as well, along with publication to be effected in the website of the College. Necessary orders in this regard shall be incorporated in the ‘Order of Approval’ of the Prospectus and it shall be a part of ‘Agreement’, if any, executed between the self-financing institutions and the Government and also the relevant G.O.s if any, issued in this connection.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM
P.R. RAMACHANDRA MENON & P. SOMARAJAN, JJ.
W.P. (C) Nos. 30697, 30712 32185, 32186, 32257, 33291 & 33494 of 2016
Dated, this the 28th day of October, 2016
PRESTIGE EDUCATIONAL TRUST AND ANR. BY ADV. SRI.GEORGE POONTHOTTAM.
THE ADMISSION SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE FOR PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES IN KERALA, PRASANTH BUILDING, M.P. APPAN ROAD, VAZHUTHACAUD, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695 001, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN. BY ADV. SMT.MARY BENJAMIN, SC.
Ramachandra Menon, J.
Admissions to the first year MBBS course 2016 – ’17 in the two Self Financing Institutions, by name ‘Karuna Medical College’ [petitioner in W.P.(C) Nos.30712 and 32186 of 2016] and ‘Kannur Medical College’ [petitioner in W.P.(C) Nos.30697 and 32186 of 2016] is the subject matter of dispute in all these cases. W.P (C) Nos. 30697 and 30712 of 2016 have been filed challenging the orders of approval of the Prospectus passed by the Admission Supervisory Committee [‘Committee’ in short] imposing some riders effecting ‘dereservation’ of vacancies in the Management quota and also in respect of ‘reduction of annual fee’ notified in the Prospectus. W.P(C) Nos.32185 and 32186 of 2016 are the writ petitions filed by the said Institutions against the orders dated 02.09.2016 issued by the Committee, canceling all the admissions made by the Institutions, on the alleged violation of the relevant orders issued by the Committee and of this Court, for the alleged lack of transparency in effecting admissions. The other writ petitions have been filed by the concerned students, who are aspirants to have admissions to the Institutions concerned but denied admission, for rejection of the applications or loss of opportunity because of the alleged dubious exercise done by the Institutions.
2. Heard Mr. George Poothottam – the learned counsel for the petitioners in W.P.(C) Nos. 30697, 30712, 32185 and 32186 of 2016, Mr.Rajit – the learned counsel for the petitioners in W.P.(C) Nos.32257 and 33494 of 2016, Sri. K. Praveen Kumar – the learned counsel for the petitioner in W.P.(C) No.33291 of 2016, Mr. C.P. Sudhakara Prasad – the learned Advocate General appearing for the State/Department, Mrs. Mary Benjamin – the learned standing counsel for the Admission Supervisory Committee/Fee Regulatory Committee for Professional Colleges in Kerala, Mr. Roshen D. Alexander – the learned counsel for the petitioners in I.A. No. 16103 of 2016 in W.P(C) No. 32185 of 2016 and I.A. No. 16429 of 2016 in W.P. (C) No. 30712 of 2016, Mr. Sunil Shanker – the learned counsel for the petitioner in I.A. No. 16512 of 2016, Sri. T.A. Shaji – the learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners in I.A. No. 16212 of 2016 and Sri. M.K. Chandra Mohandas – the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners in I.A. No. 16185 of 20160
3. The petitioners are running Self-financing Institutions [besides such other institutions] imparting education in the medical field and such other sectors. It is stated that they are minority institutions having the protection under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution of India, who have not executed any agreement with the Government for sharing seats. From the year 2013-’14 onwards, admissions were stated as being effected by the petitioners strictly ‘online’ from the qualified candidates in the NEET or the Common Entrance Examination conducted by the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations of the State of Kerala. It is stated that there was absolutely no complaint whatsoever from any corner, with regard to the selection process, so far.
4. While challenging the power and competence of the respondent Committee to have issued the impugned orders, it is stated that a similar interference was made by the Committee way back in the year 2014, directing the Principals of similar colleges to provide details of students admitted to MBBS/BDS, simultaneously interdicting the University concerned from permitting the students to participate in the examinations. This was challenged by the aggrieved parties by filing W.P.(C) No.17328 of 2014, wherein an interim order of stay was granted by a Division Bench of this Court, permitting the students to appear for the examinations. However, after the final hearing, the said writ petition and the connected cases were dismissed, holding that Committee was having power to scrutinise the eligibility, in spite of any complaint in this regard. The said verdict is stated as under challenge before the Apex Court, wherein Ext. P1 [as produced in W.P.(C)No.30712 of 2016] interim order of stay was passed, in so far as the petitioners therein were concerned. It is stated that, though the said interim order was sought to be vacated, the prayer was not acceded to and the Apex Court, as per Ext. P2, held that the interim order will continue, subject to the result of the proceedings before the Apex Court, however making it clear that it will not prevent submission of documents before the Committee. It is also pointed out that another interim order was passed by the Apex Court vide Ext. P3, directing the students under the ‘NRI quota’ (15%) to furnish the documents before the Committee for verifying their eligibility. It is stated that the documents have been given in respect of the NRI students and that the Committee has approved the same. The main challenge/question is with regard to the powers of the Committee under Act 19 of 2006.
5. The field of ‘admission’ to the Self Financing Institutions is mostly governed by the law declared by the Apex Court at different points of time, particularly, as laid down in