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Karnataka HC upholding de-recognition of medical college; okays State govt’s action to transfer 250 students to other colleges [Read Order]

By Rintu Mariam Biju      15 January, 2024 03:06 PM      0 Comments
Karnataka HC upholding de recognition of medical college okays State govts action to transfer students to other colleges

Karnataka: Over 250 students from the GR Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre in Mangalore must be accommodated in other medical institutions within the state, Karnataka High Court ruled recently after upholding the de-recognition of the college.

“Admittedly, 150 students were admitted for 1ST year MBBS course for the academic year 2021-22. The permission for renewal has been disapproved by the NMC for the academic year 2022-23. This would place the career of the students enrolled in petitioner-College in jeopardy. Hence, no exception can be taken to the State Government’s action in re-locating the candidates in different colleges in the State to enable them to pursue their next academic year. Accordingly, we answer this point in the negative.”

The Court was considering two Writ Petitions by the medical college challenging the disapproval of renewal of permission for 150 first year MBBS Seats for the academic year 2022-23; and the transfer of 150 students to different Medical Colleges in the State.

In 2021, the GR Medical College, Mangaluru was granted permission by the NMC to establish the Medical College for an intake of 150 students from the academic year 2021-22. On September 5 & 6, 2022, an inspection was conducted by NMC and renewal of permission was disapproved for the academic year 2022-23. Aggrieved, the medical college moved the High Court. 

The petitioner contended that:

• the inspection could not have been conducted and completed in two days as the data of the entire academic year has to be taken into consideration; 
• the show-cause notice issued by the NMC is vague in nature as no opportunity was given to the Medical College to cure the deficiencies; 
• the order does not spell out the grounds for disapproval and it is a non-speaking order;
Supporting its decision for non-renewal, NMC argued that:
• Since a ‘surprise inspection’ was conducted, there is no need to consider the data of the whole academic year; 
• petitioner’s contention with regard to Regulation 8(3)(1) is untenable because, Onam Festival was on September 8, 2022 and the Inspection was conducted on September 5 & 6, 2022; 
• Onam was not declared as a Holiday either by the State or Central Governments and as it was a restricted holiday;

On whether inspection conducted by NMC was contrary to Regulation 8(3)(1), the Court answered in the negative. Further, the court opined that reasonable opportunity was provided to the college to present its case before the order of de-recognition was passed. 

“It is averred in para 18 of the writ petition that pursuant to Medical College’s reply, a virtual hearing was scheduled and an appearance was made on behalf of the college during the hearing. The details of the hearing is also averred in para 19 of the writ petition. Thus, we hold that reasonable opportunity was provided to the Medical College and we answer point No.(ii) in the affirmative”. 

The Court also pointed out that how the Medical College is seeking to muster support on a “technical argument” that it had declared a holiday and therefore, the inspection report is vitiated. As per the NMC’s report, there were a list of deficiencies - Teaching Staff by 71%, deficiency of resident Doctors of 79%, OPD attendance of only 30%, Bed occupancy of 10% etc. 

“The very Regulation 8(3)(1) upon which the Medical College has placed reliance, makes it clear that renewal of permission for that academic year shall not be considered if the deficiency in different parameters is less than the percentage mentioned therein”, the Court detailed in the judgement. 
The Court also noted that these deficiencies were even accepted by the medical college earlier. 

“It is relevant to note that along with the reply to the show cause notice, the College has submitted explanation with regard to the deficiencies pointed out by the NMC as per Annexure-L. A careful reading of the same shows that the Medical College has attempted to attribute the deficiencies to the Holiday said to have been declared by the Medical College. Thus, there is no denial of deficiencies. NMC is a statutory authority and is vested with the power of Regulation”, the court said while dismissing the petitions.

[Read Order]



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