The Madras High Court has turned down a nursing graduate’s plea for a direction to a religious minority medical college to return and issue all the relevant certificates to her without insisting on any sponsorship obligation.

Justice M. Jaichandren passed the order on a writ petition by S. Austin Blessie, who joined the Bachelor of Nursing course in the Christian Medical College, Vellore, affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, in 2007.

As she was a meritorious candidate, she was sponsored by the CSI Diocese of Vellore. The sponsorship was coupled with the obligation that after completing the course, she would compulsorily work for two years in any one of the Diocesan hospitals. She was not satisfied with the course she had chosen. She passed the course last year. She approached her sponsor to relieve her from the obligations entailing the sponsorship. She planned to pursue higher studies in a different subject, hospital administration. When the petitioner approached the college with a request to break the sponsorship obligation and issue all the certificates, it was rejected in October last year.

The college counsel said the court was not empowered to issue a writ of mandamus against a private college established and administered by a religious minority. Also, the relief sought by the petitioner related to a private contract between her and the college.

Mr. Justice Jaichandren said he was of the considered view that the petition was not maintainable. It had been filed seeking to negate a main obligation by the petitioner by a contract. Having entered into such a contract, it would not be open to the petitioner to pray for a direction to the college to act in a manner contrary to the terms and conditions of the contract.

The Judge said he was also of the view that the rights of the college, vested in it under Art.30 of the Constitution, could not be taken away by issuing a mandamus as sought by the petitioner. The petition was devoid of merits, he said and dismissed it.