The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed Saveetha Dental College and Hospital at Rajankuppam near here to pay a compensation of ₹2 crore to eight students who were admitted in Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course under the Non-resident Indian quota during the academic year 2016-17.
Though none of them had cleared the mandatory National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) conducted for medical admissions.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan passed the order on a batch of individual writ petitions filed by all eight students who were discharged from the course after payment of the second year fee.
He directed the college to also refund the fee collected for the last two years and expressed concern over the practice of educational institutions attempting to encash “medical illiteracy” under the guise of providing medical education.
The judge agreed with the counsel for Dental Council of India (DCI) S. Haja Mohideen Gisthi that no medical institution could be permitted to either admit or continue to educate students who had been admitted without clearing NEET.
The counsel had contended that the eight students before the court could not be allowed either to continue in Saveetha dental college or migrate to some other college affiliated to Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University as requested by them.
In a counter affidavit filed on behalf of the college, its Registrar V. Thiagarajan had stated that the students under NRI quota were only given provisional admission subject to approval by the DCI.
“The fourth (Saveetha University) and fifth respondent (dental college) had worked tirelessly to protect the future of these students. They did not either fool or cheat the petitioners,” the counter read.