Saturday, February 14, 2015

High Court stays MCI challenge to State’s recommendations on filling NE quota at SMIMS

19 affected students get relief, can continue medical studies in Sikkim

The single bench of the Sikkim High Court has granted relief to the 19 first year students studying medicine at the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences here who, following a directive from the Medical Council of India, would have otherwise been “discharged” from the institute and would have had to discontinue their studies here.
The Medical Council of India had directed SMIMS to discharge these students latest by 17 February on the grounds that they had not been admitted on the recommendation of a Directorate of Medical Education and Research.
As per MCI, students enrolled under the North-East quota have to be on the recommendation of the respective state’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research. Sikkim does not have such a Directorate, hence the students had been enrolled on the recommendation of the Directorate of Technical Education of the Human Resource Development Department. The MCI refused to recognize this recommendation and had passed directions to SMIMS accordingly.
Before the 17 Feb deadline arrived, the 19 students approached the High Court on 11 February, and following a hearing by Justice SP Wangdi on 13 Feb, the Court stayed the MCI directive, allowing for the students to continue with their education at SMIMS.
The Court has also directed MCI to maintain status-quo on the matter for now.
The 19 students in question hail from Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland and Assam, and have challenged the MCI letter dated 23 January 2015 addressed to Dean of SMIMS directing that they be discharged from the course.
Zangpo Sherpa, counsel for the petitioners, argued the plea citing an interim order of the Apex court [of 18 and 25 September 2014] covering all medical colleges of India, in which it noted: “…notwithstanding any direction given in the case of Priya  Gupta (supra), if undertakings as stated hereinabove are filed by the institutions managing medical colleges for the academic year 2014-15, admissions shall be given to the students from the merit list prepared by the States and they shall be charged fees prescribed by the Government Medical Colleges of their respective States. The State Authorities, i.e., the Directorate of Medical Education & Research, of the respective States shall send students, in order of their merit, to the medical colleges run by the petitioners, which are situated within their States, within one week from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and the said students shall be admitted to the MBBS Course in accordance with the rules and regulations of the MCI and also regulations dated 16.04.2010 framed by the Medical Council of India, provided undertakings as mentioned above are filed on behalf of the concerned institutions.
It is also clarified that there would be no further counselling in respect of the students who are to be given admission, even if it might result into some heart burning among other students, but in the peculiar facts of the case, we give this direction.”

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