The Supreme Court today said it would clarify whether its verdict, which found 634 medical students guilty of adopting unfair means in Vyapam tests, can be relooked afresh or a larger bench should restrict itself to the quantum of sentence only. A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre had concurred with regard to guilt of adopting unfair means by the medical aspirants, but differed on the quantum of sentence.
As a result, Chief Justice T S Thakur had referred the matter to a three-judge bench headed by Justice J S Khehar which, in turn, referred it back to the bench of Justices Chelameswar and Sapre seeking a clarification as to whether it can go into the entire matter afresh or should restrict itself to the quantum of sentence. While Justice Chelameswar had wanted the students to serve as doctors for five years in Army before being granted licence to practice as doctors, Justice Sapre had ordered them to take the entrance test afresh.
The medicos had challenged two verdicts, delivered in 2014, of the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissing their pleas against cancellation of the results in the entrance examinations held between 2008 and 2013 by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), also known as VYAPAM. In its inquiry, the examination board had concluded that the exam process was “tampered with” and these 634 medicos were the beneficiaries of the “manipulated examination process”.
Referring the divergent verdicts to the Chief Justice for “further orders”, Justice J Chelameswar had said that he favoured permitting students to complete studies and “compensate” the society by serving in Army without any claim. Justice Sapre had said it is the collective responsibility of the central and state governments and educational institutions to ponder over and evolve a uniform policy in a comprehensive manner to firmly deal with such activities in the larger public good.