April 12, 2017 5:11:42 am
The Supreme Court Tuesday cautioned high courts from issuing interim orders in cases of medical admissions when the college in question has not been granted approval by the authorities concerned. Judges should avert “disaster” and not be “swayed by own convictions” when there are precedents to follow, the court 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,” said a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra.
The bench said that by such orders, an institution that has been found to be deficient by expert bodies gets a premium to admit students, who will be anxious to get admission with the hope that eventually the college would obtain a favourable certificate.
“By saying that the institution may give admission at its own risk invites further chaotic and unfortunate situations. There is no reason to invite a disaster by way of an interim order. A judge has to constantly remind himself about the precedents in the field and not to be swayed by his own convictions,” held the bench.
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The bench reminded the high courts that when the top court uses the phrase “humility at our command” while requesting high courts to do something, it must connote “humility in law”.
“The grammar of ‘humility in law’ in the hierarchical system basically means to abide by the precedents unless distinguishable but not to ignore them and pass orders because of an individual notion or perception. Adjudication in accordance with precedents is cultivation of humility. As long as a precedent is binding under the constitutional scheme, it has to be respected by all,” maintained the bench.
It said that high courts have to understand in the right sense the meaning of words “humility” and “request” when used by the apex court. “It requires attention. And attention in the context is disciplined and concerned awareness,” it said.
The bench was adjudicating an appeal by the Dental Council of India, which had challenged an order passed by the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court. By an interim order in May 2016, the HC had allowed a Maharashtra-based college to start MDS course “at own risk” even though the council as well as the Central government had noted deficiencies in the institution.
Setting aside the HC order, the apex court said that no such go-ahead could be given to an institution which had not been granted approval. However, since three students had been admitted by the college for academic session 2016-17 and an approval was also granted for the subsequent session, the bench said that the college would have to reduce three seats for the current academic session, apart from depositing Rs 30 lakh in the court registry. Clarifying that the money will not be extracted from the students in any manner, the bench fixed the case in the third week of July to take a call on how this amount will be utilised.
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