An MBBS student who missed an academic year as a result of the cancellation of admissions by Kannur Medical College in Kerala was granted compensation by the Supreme Court of India recently. The Supreme Court stated,

“A student who has been deprived of a valuable year in pursuing her studies, cannot be left in lurch.”

This particular case refers to a student who filed a petition after getting MBBS admission at Kannur Medical College in September 2016. The petitioner student paid a total fee of INR 21.65 lakhs that consisted of INR 10 lakhs as fee deposit, INR 10 lakh as annual fees and INR 1.65 lakhs as a special fee.

The issue began when the medical college was unsuccessful in obeying the guidelines clearly laid out by the Admission Supervisory Committee and it was derecognized. Once the private medical college cancelled all MBBS admissions, the petitioner student was forced to start her medical studies by securing her MBBS admission in Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi. However, the student had lost an academic year during the course.

Hence, the student was compelled to file a petition and approach the Supreme Court of India under Article 32. She looked for a way to make Kannur Medical College compensate her for making her lose an academic year.

The Court stated,

“There can be no manner of doubt that the petitioner is entitled to be compensated for the loss of a valuable year which was occasioned by the misdemeanours of the first respondent.”

Kannur Medical College is now all set to resume MBBS course at its institute. A high power committee formed by Kerala University for Health Science to examine the facilities at the medical college to ascertain whether it is adequate to run the MBBS course or not.

A few months ago, the Supreme Court had directed a probe into the 2016-17 admissions at this medical college to find whether the students in that session were forced to pay capitation fee to the medical college management.

The problem emerged after a complaint had been registered by one the medical college’s student with Admission Supervisory Committee that the college management had collected Rs 20-50 lakh from MBBS students, besides collecting bank guarantees to secure future payments from them, so asked for reimbursement of the fee collected by them. Recognizing the complaint, the committee asked the college management to pay half the amount by July 27. College principal tried to seek adjournment which got rejected by the committee.  But the college failed to comply on the refunding of the fees to the MBBS students. This, in turn, resulted in Committee recommend withdrawal of affiliation of the college to Kerala University of Health Sciences. Principal, Kannur Medical College then filed a petition with Kerala High Court alleging the committee’s order was completely illegal and not been heard before its issuance. But the Court dismissed their petition. Disappointed, the college went ahead and moved the Supreme Court. However, the apex court disposed the petition and further imposed Rs 1 crore as fine to the college for admitting students by gross violation of norms. The college had to refund the amount decided by the Apex Court.

And by this year, medical college management is trying its level best to resume back the UG medicine course. Medical Council team will visit the college to assess improved facilities and faculties along with other credentials and if the college gets the green signal then only the college can start its UG Medical program.

There has been must concern on excessive rising of cost of medical education among the State Ministry level. This issue being raised in Parliament after a written reply was sought by a Rajya Sabha MP. It has been enquired if the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is aware of the fact that that graduate and post graduate medical courses has become extremely expensive making it beyond the reach of poor and middle class people. And does the Government have any further plan to make it more accessible to commoners. Replying to this, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey informed that fixation of fees for government and private medical college are in process.