Apr 07 2017: The Times of India (Mumbai)
In a landmark order, the Bombay high court has directed the state government to shell out Rs 20 lakh compensation to a young girl whose aspiration of pursuing an MBBS course was dashed due to irregularities by colleges and bungling on the part of state authorities.
A division bench of Justice ordered the state to pay the money within eight weeks as “public law damages“ to a 20-year-old girl.
“The mental agony on account of failure to get admission for MBBS course as sought by her is perpetual,“ said the judges.
The court relied on a similar order passed by the Supreme Court in 2014. The judges noted that the girl's plea that the denial of admission completely damaged her career and the right to practice as an MBBS doctor was taken away from her. “Such an act [on the part of the authorities] has caused great mental agony, stress, and torture not only to the girl but also to the family whose dream was to see her as a doctor. That has been completely shattered. In these circumstances, we are of the opinion that the state government is liable to pay public law damages to the girl.“
Advocate, who represented the girl, said that despite being a meritorious student, for no fault of hers, she was denied admission. The state opposed the payment of any compensation and claimed that they could not be penalized for the irregularities committed by the colleges. The high court, however, ruled that it was not open for the government to make this claim as “the state machinery had failed to implement the recommendations of the Pravesh Niyantran Samiti (PNS)“.
The girl is a resident of Raigad had cleared the common entrance exam for MBBS admission in 2012 and was placed in the merit list. She had applied to two colleges -one in Jalgaon and the other in Solapur. However, it was later revealed that the colleges did not follow the admission schedule and rules laid down by the Supreme Court and the state government. The irregularities resulted in the girl being denied admission, while students below her in the merit list were granted admission. The PNS conducted an inquiry and in January 2013 and recommended to the state that the illegal admissions be canceled. Further, it asked the state to move the apex court, seeking to conduct fresh admissions for these colleges. The state failed to initiate any action, said, advocate. A girl's plea for being granted admission was earlier rejected since it was too late and the CET rankings were valid only until September of that year -the cutoff for admissions. A girl, who is now in her final year of a bachelor of dentistry course had sought damages as per apex court's orders for compensation to other similarly placed students.
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