New Delhi: In a huge setback to Kerala government and students, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the operation of the ordinance regularising admission of students illegally admitted to medical colleges in the State during 2016-2017. Passing the interim order on a writ petition filed by the Medical Council of India, Justices Arun Mishra and Uday Lalit said “in our Prima facie view, the Ordinance in question blatantly seeks to nullify the binding effect of the order passed by this court. Prima facie it was not open to declare this Court’s order as void or ineffective as was sought to be done by way of ordnance.”
This Court has affirmed the judgment dated October 28, 2006 passed by Kerala High Court and discharged 150 students admitted in respondent no.4- Kannur Medical College and 30 students admitted in respondent no.6- Karuna Medical College. It is a trite law that the Legislature in exercise of its Legislative powers cannot strike down any judgment / decision passed by the Constitutional Courts. The State Government by way of the impugned Ordinance is indirectly trying to regularise those admissions which were held to be illegal by this Court.
It is a well settled position in law that what cannot be done directly, cannot be done indirectly and, therefore, the impugned Ordinance cannot be permitted to indirectly achieve what could not be directly achieved by the respondent medical colleges, the MCI said and prayed for quashing the ordinance and an interim stay of its operation. The order said “We place on record that we had scanned the documents regarding admission in the first round of litigation and the case was heard at length for several days. Hard copies were also placed before us; whereafter we rendered the decision after considering that admissions were not given to the students in accordance with law and approved the decision of regulatory committee effective. Thus, it was prima facie not open to sit over the judgment and validate those very admissions and to venture into regularising them.”
The Bench said “We therefore, stay the operation of the ordinance and make it clear that no student shall be permitted to reap any benefit of any action taken and they shall not be permitted to attend the college or the classes or continue in medical colleges in any manner pursuant to ordinance. It is made clear to all concerned that any violation of the order shall be treated seriously by this court.” The Bench while issuing notice directed the matter to be listed in the second week of May after completion of pleadings.
In its petition, the MCI said that the impugned Ordinance negates the principle of equality and equal protection of laws as provided under Article 14 of the Constitution in as much as there will be no difference in illegal admissions made by the respondent colleges and other admission made in accordance with law. In view thereof, the impugned Ordinance is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. It said if this mode of regularising illegal admission in exercise of Ordinance making power is permitted then it will have severe repercussions and adverse consequences as private medical colleges will get impetus to illegally admit students in their college without following proper procedure. It submitted that the impugned Ordinance is repugnant to the provisions and the spirit of the Constitution as the object behind the said Ordinance is to override / overrule the judgments dated 22.03.2017 (as modified on 27.03.2017) passed by this Court....