Supreme Court clears decks for admissions to medical colleges

In a big relief to aspiring medical students, the Supreme Court Monday paved the way for government and private medical colleges to admit students to under-graduate and post-graduate medical and dental courses for the 2013 session.

The court lifted curbs on the declaration of entrance tests' results for the courses and said: "...the students, who aspire to gain entry into the medical colleges at the MBBS and BDS and the post-graduate levels, have been caught in the legal tangle for no fault of theirs and are the victims of policy decisions".

The apex court bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Vikramajit Sen modified its Dec 13, 2012 order by which it had permitted various institutions and medical bodies to conduct the entrance examination for the courses but restrained them from declaring the results.

"In order to safeguard their (students) interests, as also the interest of the hospitals, we consider it just and equitable to lift the bar imposed by us on Dec 13, 2012, for this year's entrance examinations and, to that extent, we modify our order," the court said, in an interim order.

"Without fresh entrants into the post-graduate courses, even for a year, the hospitals are likely to be adversely affected on account of lack of doctors to directly take care of the patients," the court said.

"...we feel that students hoping to gain admission in the MBBS as well as post-graduate courses on the strength of the results of the examinations, which have already been held and for which they had appeared, should not be denied such opportunity, at least for this year," the court said.

"We had been informed by the learned senior counsel appearing for the Christian Medical College, Vellore, and the Karnataka Pvt. Medical and Dental College, that a large number of students would be adversely affected and would stand to lose a year, if the bar on the declaration of their results was not lifted," the court said.

The court's order came on a batch of petitions challenging the Dec 21, 2010 decision of regulator Medical Council of India (MCI) notifying a National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to post-graduate medical courses.

The petitioner colleges challenged the competence of the MCI to introduce a test which prevented them from having any control on admissions.

The court would pronounce its verdict on the validity of the Dec 21, 2010 notification of the MCI July 4.

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