J. Venkatesan

Says no approval for admissions if their entrance test is found not fair

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to private medical, engineering and other professional colleges on a batch of appeals filed by the Kerala Government, challenging an interim order of the High Court directing the State to maintain status quo as of 2005-2006 on quotas and fee structure in respect of admissions to these unaided educational institutions.

A Bench of Justice K. G. Balakrishnan and Justice D. K. Jain did not pass any interim order as sought by senior counsel K. K. Venugopal and C. S. Vaidyanathan, who appeared for the State. It issued notice and posted the matter for further hearing on August 18.

The Bench, however, warned the private medical colleges that if it was found that the Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted by the consortium of colleges was not fair and transparent, the court would not approve of admissions beyond the 15 per cent NRI seats and 15 per cent `privilege seats' as per the legislation enacted by the State. Remaining students admitted up to 50 per cent of the seats would have to take the risk, the Bench added.

Mr. Venugopal submitted that the committee overseeing the admissions did not approve of the CET conducted by the consortium for medical admissions. Further, only 512 students applied and of them, 408 took the CET and 275 students had been given admission. He said that as per the Inamdar judgment, the CET should be fair, transparent and non-exploitative. In this case, the CET, said to have been conducted by the consortium, was not fair and transparent, he said and alleged, "In Kerala, medical colleges lay golden eggs as Rs. 25 lakhs is collected as capitation fee per student."

Senior counsel Arun Jaitley, appearing for private medical colleges, submitted that the CET was conducted following due procedure. There had been no complaint from any quarters on the conduct of the CET, and the High Court had stated that if there was any complaint, that could be looked into by the committee appointed pursuant to the legislation.

The Bench asked Mr. Jaitley, "Did you (consortium) conduct the CET as per the Inamdar judgment? It is impossible to believe that only 512 students applied and 408 appeared for the test. Did you approach the committee and obtained permission for holding the CET? We can't approve of such a farce test."

Mr. Vaidyanathan submitted that the State was prepared not to rely on the legislation for this year, and the Government had no objection to the admissions in 15 per cent NRI seats and 15 per cent `privilege seats.'

Mr. Jaitley submitted that after 2004, there was no committee. He said the colleges would file an affidavit to show how the test was conducted in a free and fair and transparent manner.

Senior counsel T. R. Andhyarujina and Dushyant Dave, who also appeared for the private managements, said that admissions were made strictly as per the May 29 interim orders of the apex court.

Senior counsel L. Nageswara Rao said that as far as private engineering colleges were concerned, they adopted the CET conducted by the State and had filled the 50 per cent seats under the management.

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