September 15, 2018

‘Kerala Govt. Nullified Apex Court Order’


The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed a Kerala government ordinance promulgated to “blatantly nullify” an apex court order freezing illegal medical admissions made in the State.

A Bench, led by Justice Arun Mishra, had earlier stayed the Kerala Professional Colleges (Regularisation of Admission in Medical Colleges) Ordinance of 2017 while accusing the State government of trying to bull-doze the court.

“In our prima facie view, the ordinance in question blatantly seeks to nullify the binding effect of the order passed by this court. Prima facie it was not open to declare this court’s order as void or ineffective as was sought to be done by way of ordinance,” the Supreme Court had observed.

The court had made it clear that no student should be permitted to reap any benefit from the ordinance.

“They shall not be permitted to attend the college or the classes or continue in medical colleges in any manner pursuant to ordinance,” the Supreme Court had ordered. On March 22 last year, the apex court had cancelled the admission of a total 180 medical undergraduate students in Kannur Medical College and Karuna Medical College in Kerala owing to irregularities in admission procedure.

The apex court had ordered the termination of 150 admissions in Kannur Medical College and 30 in Karuna Medical College, thus sending a strong message to private professional colleges that there would be zero tolerance if irregularities were found in admissions.

The State government reacted by promulgating the ordinance on October 20, 2017, in order to regularise the 180 admissions.

This was followed up with the State Assembly unanimously passing a Bill on April 4, 2018, to replace the ordinance. Challenging the ordinance, the Medical Council of India (MCI) approached the Supreme Court.

The MCI argued that the ordinance negates the principle of equality and equal protection of laws.

The MCI submitted that regularising illegal medical admissions, if allowed, would have severe repercussions as private medical colleges would get impetus to admit students without following proper procedure.

The medical body, seeking an immediate stay of the ordinance, said that “the legislature in exercise of its legislative powers cannot strike down any judgment/decision passed by the constitutional courts.”

(Credit: The Hindu)

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