The high courts by way of interim orders should not allow admissions in colleges lacking requisite approvals, the Supreme Court today held. The apex court’s verdict came while setting aside a Bombay High Court order allowing a dental college to admit students in PG courses at its own “risk” and said that such interim orders in admission matters should not be passed when an institution lacks the requisite approval.
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and M M Shantanagoudar took strong note of the high court order that had allowed a Maharashtra-based Dr Hedgewar Smruti Rugna Seva Mandal to take admissions in MDS course in the specialty of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics for the academic session 2016-17.
A vacation bench of the Bombay High Court, on March 31, 2016, had stayed the decision of the government not to allow the college to run PG courses as it lacked infrastructure, teaching faculty etc. The government’s decision was taken in pursuance of a report by the Dental Council of India.
Setting aside the order, the apex court referred to various judgements and said, “It is perspicuous that the court should not pass such interim orders in the matters of admission, more so, when the institution had not been accorded approval.”
“Such kind of interim orders are likely to cause chaos, anarchy and uncertainty. And, there is no reason for creating such situations. There is no justification or requirement. The high court may feel that while exercising power under Article 226 of the Constitution, it can pass such orders with certain qualifiers as has been done by the impugned order, but it really does not save the situation,” it said.
The apex court said that the institution, which has not been given approval, gets an interim order in its favour.
“The anxiety of the students to get admission reigns supreme as they feel that the institution is granting admission on the basis of an order passed by the high court. The institution might be directed to inform the students that the matter is sub judice, but the career-oriented students get into the college with the hope and aspiration that in the ultimate eventuate everything shall be correct for them and they will be saved,” it said.
The bench said that the high court by saying that the institution may give admission at its own risk “invites further chaotic and unfortunate situations”.
While setting aside the order of high court, the apex court termed it as “absolutely unsustainable”.
It said that the students, who got admissions in PG courses in pursuance of the high court order in academic sessions 2016-17, can pursue their courses but their seats shall be adjusted from the academic session of 2017-2018.
The bench noted that the college has been granted approval for PG courses for academic session of 2017-18.
“The college cannot be allowed to get a premium. The grant of bounty is likely to allow such institutions to develop an attitude of serendipity. Such a culture is inconceivable.
“Therefore, apart from the adjustment of seats for the next academic session, we also direct the respondent-college to deposit a sum of Rs 30 lakh before the Registry of this court within eight weeks hence and to ensure such compliance, the matter shall be listed in the third week of July, 2017 for further directions,” the court said and barred the college from recovering the cost from students.