The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Goa government for cancelling the admissions already made to post graduate medical courses through National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) and making its own admissions putting the lives of students in peril. It said there was systemic anarchy in the State.

A Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave and Dipak Misra said: “The present litigation {by students} exposits a sad scenario. It is sad because chaos has crept in the lives of some students and it is further sad as the State of Goa and its functionaries have allowed ingress of systemic anarchy, throwing propriety to the winds possibly harbouring the attitude of utter indifference and nurturing an incurable propensity to pave the path of deviancy.”

In the present case students were admitted to PG courses in the Government Medical College at Goa on the basis of ranks in the NEET.

The Supreme Court while striking down as ultra vires the NEET, however, held that admissions already made would be protected. However, the State government passed an order cancelling the NEET admissions and admitted students afresh on the basis of the rules governing admission.

Aneesh D. Lawande and others who were admitted through the NEET approached the Supreme Court, which by an interim order permitted them to continue.

Disposing of the petitions the Bench said “This wise act of the State Government can irrefragably be compared with absence of common sense in an uncommon degree.”

Writing the judgment Justice Misra said: “This court in the final judgment [in NEET case] had not invalidated the actions taken under the amended regulations and it included the admissions already given on the basis of the NEET conducted by the Medical Council of India. Therefore, there could not have been any scintilla of doubt in any one’s mind that the admissions given on the basis of NEET examination had been protected by this Court and hence, their admissions could not have been cancelled by the State government. It is really perplexing that the State government in spite of the order of this court took a decision on 25.7.2013 to cancel the provisional admissions given to the students on the basis of the NEET. The act indubitably shows total lack of prudence.”

The Bench said: “Before exercising the power one is required to understand the object of such power and the conditions in which the same is to be exercised. Similarly, when one performs public duty he has to remain alive to the legal position and not be oblivious of it. The agony and woe do not end here. The anguish of the students, who were admitted on the basis of the Rules, in our considered opinion, deserves to be addressed.”

“The factual matrix of the present case, being totally exceptional, compels us to exercise our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution to issue a direction so that it can act as a palliative at least for some of the students who had been given admissions under the Rules. We are inclined to direct that 21 seats transferred to the State quota shall be filled up from among the students who had taken admissions under the Rules. It needs no special emphasis to state that the admissions and the allocations of the stream shall be on their inter se merit as per the Rules. We may hasten to clarify that none of these candidates shall be allowed to encroach upon the streams that have already been allotted to the petitioners who were admitted having been qualified in the NEET,” the Bench said.