The Supreme Court of India clarifies its earlier decision and states the principles relating to admissions to the medical courses (MBBS and BDS) so as to ensure elimination of colourable abuse and arbitrary exercise of power in the process of selection and admission to these professional courses by all concerned.
a) The rule of merit for preference of courses and colleges admits no exception. It is an absolute rule and all stakeholders and concerned authorities are required to follow this rule strictly and without demur.
b) 30th September is undoubtedly the last date by which the admitted students should report to their respective colleges without fail. In the normal course, the admissions must close by holding of second counseling by 15th September of the relevant academic year [in terms of the decision of this Court in Priya Gupta case]. Thereafter, only in very rare and exceptional cases of unequivocal discrimination or arbitrariness or pressing emergency, admission may be permissible but such power may preferably be exercised by the courts. Further, it will be in the rarest of rare cases and where the ends of justice would be subverted or the process of law would stand frustrated that the courts would exercise their extra-ordinary jurisdiction of admitting candidates to the courses after the deadline of 30th September of the current academic year. This, however, can only be done if the conditions stated by this Court in the case of Priya Gupta case and this judgment are found to be unexceptionally satisfied and the reasons therefor are recorded by the court of competent jurisdiction.
c) & d) Wherever the court finds that action of the authorities has been arbitrary, contrary to the judgments of this Court and violative of the Rules, regulations and conditions of the prospectus, causing prejudice to the rights of the students, the Court shall award compensation to such students as well as direct initiation of disciplinary action against the erring officers/officials. The court shall also ensure that the proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 are initiated against the erring authorities irrespective of their stature and empowerment.
Where the admissions given by the concerned authorities are found by the courts to be legally unsustainable and where there is no reason to permit the students to continue with the course, the mere fact that such students have put in a year or so into the academic course is not by itself a ground to permit them to continue with the course.