On 22 September, the Supreme Court, in a significant move, cancelled all counselling conducted by private medical colleges so far in Madhya Pradesh for admissions to undergraduate medical and dental courses. The apex court further ordered that combined counselling should be held afresh.
A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Justice AR Dave, has asked the MP government to complete the combined counselling process within a week for both private and government colleges.
The SC ruled today, holding that such counselling can be done "only" by the state government. "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,' stated the court.
The SC added that two representatives of private medical colleges will participate in the counselling process, which will be conducted by the state government.
The order came after a recent contempt petition was 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 AK Sikri, RK Agrawal, Adarsh Kumar Goel and R Banumathi, expressed unhappiness over the fact that private colleges were holding their own counselling. On Wednesday, the apex court had ordered status quo in admission to undergraduate medical courses in private medical institutes in Madhya Pradesh.
The apex court, on 11 April, 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.
"We observe that the 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," it said today. During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, appearing for Madhya Pradesh, told the bench that though state has already concluded the first round of counselling, it was willing to hold it afresh. "We may note at this stage that the state government has done the first counselling. However, the 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 September 30, 2016 which is the last date for admission," the bench noted in its order.
The bench also recorded the assurance given by the state through its law officer that all seats, whether of government colleges or the private institutions, "shall be filled up and no seat shall remain vacant." Disposing of the contempt plea, the bench said it does not "intend to proceed further and discharge the contempt notice...the contempt petition stands disposed of on the aforesaid terms." The order came on the 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. 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.