Judiciary-college nexus: 'Pay Rs.10L each to 150 students', SC rules
The SC has directed a Lucknow medical college to pay Rs. 10L each to 150 students for admitting them illegally. The GCRG Institute of Medical Science also has to refund their fees and pay Rs. 25L as fine to the SC registry. The case came under the scanner after the Allahabad HC corrected its original order in the case in violation of SC orders.
What case was the college involved in?
GCRG and 31 other colleges had failed a Medical Council of India (MCI) inspection in 2016, following which they were barred from admitting students. It got more chances but again failed inspections. After a lot of shunting back and forth between the SC, Lodha Panel and the health ministry, GCRG withdrew its case with the SC's permission and approached the Allahabad HC instead.
What did the Allahabad HC rule?
On September 1, the HC ordered UP and MCI to allow GCRG to admit students "within the prescribed time frame". However, on September 4, Justice Narayan Shukla corrected the order by hand, adding "September 5" as the "prescribed time frame". He wrote "corrected suo moto", meaning he changed the order himself. The SC was "very angry" when it got to know of the happenings.
SC raps HC for 'judicial indiscipline', GCRG for 'jeopardizing careers'
The SC rapped the HC for virtually bypassing its judgement restraining any interim order in the matter. Apart from the "judicial indiscipline and impropriety" on the HC's part, the SC also slammed the GCRG Memorial Trust for jeopardizing students' careers. Senior advocates noted GCRG didn't have proper infrastructure and faculty either. For now, the 150 admissions have been quashed.
Medical college seats are often "sold" by top officials
Recently, the CBI arrested a retired Odisha HC judge for allegedly conspiring to ensure a "favorable order" for a Lucknow-based institution; he had temporarily served in the Allahabad HC. He allegedly offered "legal guidance" to the promoters on bypassing an admission ban. FIRs have also been lodged against IAS officers in Puducherry for overlooking meritorious students and selling medical college seats at "exorbitant" rates.