Supreme Court allows SMIMS to take in 100 students this year as well

Gangtok, 21 Jul:

The Supreme Court has allowed the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences here to provisionally admit 50 MBBS students in excess of the sanctioned limit of 50 MBBS students despite objections raised by the Medical Council of India. SMIMS will thus continue to take in 100 students for the new MBBS batch as well.

The apex court has directed that the order passed on 31 Aug 2016, which granted the Institute permission for additional 50 seats, shall apply for the present academic year as well.

The three bench judge comprising of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar, and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar of the Supreme Court, in its Order passed on 17 July last week, directs that, "Regard being had to the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, we are inclined to direct that the order and direction passed on 31st August 2016 shall apply for the present academic year."

The apex court had modified the Sikkim High Court Order of 26 May 2015, granting stay on Medical Council of India’s Show Cause Notice for revoking or withdrawing the recognition granted for 50 additional medical seats at SMIMS. The apex court also directed its Registrar General’s Office to list the matter for 22 November for final hearing.

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, submitted that last year, while allowing the Institute additional 50 medical seats, the Apex Court had said that, “…needless to say, any resultant effect of the counselling shall be subject to result of the special leave petition. The counselling shall take place for filling up of 50 seats. Be it clarified, the Medical Council of India had already granted recognition which is in vogue for 50 seats. We are granting permission for additional 50 seats as similar interim orders have been passed from time to time, regard being had to the special features of the case.”

It may be mentioned here that the Medical Council of India had filed a Special Leave Appeal against the Sikkim High Court’s stay order passed on 26 May 2015. The MCI had challenged the High Court’s order allowing admission to 100 MBBS students against 50 intake seats allotted to the Institute.

The apex court, on 10 June 2015, while modifying the High Court direction, had asked SMIMS to make a specific mention in the admission cards that the admissions shall be subject to the result of the writ petition pending before it. The Court has also asked the Institute to clearly mention that these provisionally admitted students shall not be entitled to claim any equity in the event that the institute lost the case.