Chennai: Coming to the rescue of the relocated Annai Medical College students, the Madras High Court has directed the state government to permit them to attend the third year classes along with regular students and continue their studies from April onwards.
Justice N. Kirubakaran also directed the government to allow the accommodated Annai Medical College students to attend second year classes till March, so that they will have the minimum attendance of 75 per cent to write the examination in August.
The court directed the government and the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University to conduct the second year examinations for the accommodated Annai Medical College students in August, while disposing of the petitions.
The students joined the Annai Medical College in Kancheepuram district in 2016-2017 as per counselling conducted by the state government. Subsequently, the Union government debarred the college from admitting students in MBBS for the academic years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
Because of this order and the dispute between the trustees, the students moved the Madras High Court, which directed the government to accommodate them in state-run medical colleges. After two rounds of litigation, the students were accommodated in government medical colleges.
The court directed the government to conduct special classes to these students. The government approached the High Court to modify its orders in respect of special classes.
As per the regulations of the Medical Council of India, the students did not have enough time to hold special classes, the government contended. The High Court then concluded that it was not possible to have extra classes.
Based on the modified order, the Director of Medical Education issued a circular stating that the accommodated students were eligible to appear for the second year examination only in August 2019, the third year examination in August 2020 and the final year in August 2021.
Aggrieved, the students filed the present petition challenging the circular. Some students also filed a petition to review the order by which the court stated that it was not possible to conduct special classes.
Justice Kirubakaran said the government had stated that the accommodated students were having 62 to 70 per cent attendance against the minimum of 75 per cent required in theory as well as clinical classes to write the second year examinations.
Given that the students had attended classes and to give effect to the High Court order of December 22, 2017, the judge said the relocated students could be allowed to continue to attend the second year classes till March 2019. After classes for the third year students commence, the accommodated students will be allowed to merge with the regular students and continue their studies from April 2019.
"Since the requirement of Medical Council of India regulations is 75 per cent of attendance, there should not be any problem for the MCI or for the Dr MGR Medical University or for the state government in permitting the accommodated students to write the second year examination in August 2019 and similarly, there should not be any problem in allowing the students to merge with third year students from April 2019 onwards," Justice Kirubakaran said.
He said the order was passed taking into consideration the peculiar circumstances of the students who continue to suffer for no fault of theirs. The students should be given a helping hand, so that they will merge with third year regular students, Justice Kirubakaran said.