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February 20, 2021 Saturday 11:40:11 AM IST

Compensation for Illegal Denial of Admission

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of India has directed a private medical college to pay an amount of Rs. 10 lakh in compensation to a student for illegally denying her admission to a postgraduate course this academic year.

The student contented that she had visited the Kamineni Academy of Medical Sciences and Research Center in Hyderabad with her father on July 29 and 30, but her admission process was not completed. On the other hand, the college denied that the student visited the college on the said dates. However, it was found that the college had filed an affidavit before the High Court which revealed that the student and her father had visited the college on July 29 and paid the University fee. Besides, the college had extended the last date of the admission by a month and admitted another student who was 20,000 ranks below her.

The Supreme Court noted that there was enough time for the college to notify the student, but it did not. The Court observed that the manner in which the college acted in depriving admission to the student and giving admission to another student is deplorable. The managements of medical colleges are not expected to indulge in such illegalities in making admissions to medical courses. Though the Supreme Court agreed with the High Court's earlier conclusion that she was intentionally and illegally denied admission for 2020-21, it did not support the High Court's direction to create a seat for the student in the current academic year. It has been repeatedly held by the Supreme Court that directions cannot be issued for increasing annual intake capacity.

The Supreme Court observed that the student lost one precious academic year for no fault of hers, for which she has to be compensated by way of an amount of Rs. 10 lakh to be paid by the college within a period of four weeks from the date of the judgement . The Court also ordered the college to allocate to the student a seat in M. S. ( General Surgery ) Course from the management quota for 2021-22.

With this verdict, the Supreme Court has extended the application of its judgement in 2019 in the S. Krishna Sradha case, which empowered courts to direct private medical colleges to not only pay compensation but also admit a student wrongly denied admission in an under-graduate course, to postgraduate medical courses also.

P S Antony

P.S ANTONY ,District Judge (Retd.) & Senior Faculty Bharata  Mata School of Legal Studies , Aluva

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