Dr. Romil B. Shah & Ors vs The State Of Gujarat & Ors on 25 July, 2006

Supreme Court of India
Dr. Romil B. Shah & Ors vs The State Of Gujarat & Ors on 25 July, 2006
Author: K Balakrishnan
Bench: K.G. Balakrishnan, D.K. Jain
           CASE NO.:
Appeal (civil)  3151 of 2006

PETITIONER:
Dr. Romil B. Shah & Ors

RESPONDENT:
The State of Gujarat & Ors

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 25/07/2006

BENCH:
K.G. Balakrishnan & D.K. Jain

JUDGMENT:

J U D G M E N T
(Arising out of SLP [C] No. 11845 of 2006
AND
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3152 OF 2006
(Arising out of SLP) No. 11851 of 2006]
K.M. Shah Dental College .. Appellant
Vs.

The State of Gujarat & Ors. .. Respondents

K.G. BALAKRISHNAN, J.

Leave granted.

The appellants in these two appeals challenge the
judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court of Gujarat.
K.M. Shah Dental College, appellant in one of the two appeals
herein, is a dental college in the district of Vadodra in Gujarat.
They held entrance examination for admission to the post-
graduate course (M.D.S. in all branches], for which an
advertisement was published by them in two daily newspapers
on 17.6.2006. The last date for receipt of applications was
22.6.2006 and thereafter the entrance examination was held
on 25.6.2006. Though the counselling had been notified for
27.6.2006, the entire admission process was completed on
26.6.2006 itself. According to the appellant-college, 24
students had sought admission, but only 23 students were
selected. One of the students who sat for the entrance
examination filed a Special Civil Application before the High
Court of Gujarat challenging the process of selection followed
by the appellant-college. The learned single Judge directed
that the appellant-college shall not fill up the seats of the
post-graduate course on the basis of the common entrance
examination held on 25.6.2006. The appellant-college
challenged the same in a writ appeal and the Division Bench
found that the common entrance examination conducted by
the appellant-college was not fair and transparent and non-
exploitative and held that all the 23 seats will be filled up from
the list prepared by the Gujarat University.

We heard the appellant’s counsel and counsel for the
respondents. The counsel for the appellant-college contended
that the entrance examination was held in accordance with
law and the appellant-college being a single college was
entitled to conduct the entrance examination of its own based
on the decision of this Court in P.A. Inamdar vs. State of
Maharashtra
[2005] 6 SCC 537. Counsel for the respondents
on the other hand contended that even if it is assumed that
the appellant-college had the right to conduct the entrance
examination, the selection process was illegal and not fair to
the students seeking admission. The Division Bench in the
impugned judgment has pointed out a series of irregularities
in the conduct of the entrance examination. The whole
entrance examination was done in a haphazard manner. The
entrance examination was advertised on 17.6.2006, the last
date for receipt of applications was fixed as 22.6.2006 and the
counseling was notified for 27.6.2006 whereas the counseling
was held on the previous day. It is also contended that some
of the students who sought admission were denied application
forms, short date were given for examination in order to
prevent the candidates from submitting the applications for
examination. It is also alleged that the appellant-college was
trying to circumvent the directions contained in various
decisions of this Court. The appellant-college, on the other
hand, contended that the whole process of selection had to be
conducted before 30th June, 2006 and hence short time was
given for submitting the applications.

On a close scrutiny of the various dates as also the way
in which the entrance examination was conducted, we affirm
the view held by the Division Bench that the entrance
examination was not fair and transparent. It is high time that
the Dental Council of India as well as the Medical Council of
India may fix in advance the approximate dates during which
the entrance examination is to be held by various colleges.
When there is an outer limit fixed for the final admission of the
students to various courses, the Dental Council, the Medical
Council and the All India Council for Technical Education and
such other authorities, which are regulating the admission of
students in various colleges, shall be careful in seeing that
irregularities are not committed in the matter of admissions.
These institutions can fix in advance the dates of
advertisement, availability of application forms as also final
receipt of application forms. For the purpose of conducting
the entrance examination, some approximate dates could be
fixed giving sufficient time for the colleges to regulate the
admissions. As the students have to compete in more than
one examinations to secure admission in one of the colleges,
sufficient opportunity should be given to the colleges to fix the
date of entrance examination. If this regulatory mechanism is
provided for, there can be a final date for admission to each
college.

In the present case, though the entrance examination
was not held in a proper manner, we do not think that the
Division Bench was justified in directing that the entire 23
seats should be filled up from the list prepared by the Gujarat
University. At least some of the students, if not all the 23
students who got admission, may be meritorious for getting
admission to the post-graduate course. Their merit is to be
assessed by a competent authority. The counsel for the
respondents submitted that there should be a fresh entrance
examination and that all these students should be given a
chance to compete. We are not inclined to accept the
submission as all other students had appeared for the
entrance examination held by the Gujarat University.

In the result, we direct that 24 applicants, who are
stated to have applied pursuant to publication of
advertisement on 17.6.2006, shall be subjected to a fresh
merit-assessment test, to be conducted by the Head of the
Department of Dentistry of the All India Institute of Medical
Sciences. All the modalities in this behalf shall be worked out
by the HOD in consultation with the appellant-College. The
Head of the Department of Dentistry at the AIIMS shall give
notice to all the applicants, whose addresses shall be
furnished by the College. The test shall be held at the earliest
and the appellant-college shall deposit a sum of rupees one
lakh as initial expenses for conducting the said test. If any
other expenses are required to be incurred, the appellant-
college shall pay that amount also. If anyone or more of
these 24 students is found meritorious and eligible for
admission to the MDS (Dental] by the HOD at the AIIMS, the
appellant- college is entitled to fill up the seats out of these 24
students available and if some seats are left over thereafter,
the same shall be filled up out of the list prepared by the
Gujarat University for admission to the post-graduate dental
course. The last date fixed as 30th June, 2006 for admission
to the post-graduate courses, shall be waived in the case of
these 24 students.

The appeals are disposed of accordingly with no order as
to costs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *