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J. VINOTH RAJ versus STATE OF TAMIL NADU

High Court of Madras

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J. Vinoth Raj v. State of Tamil Nadu - W.A. No.1480 of 2005 [2005] RD-TN 655 (13 September 2005)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

Dated: 13/09/2005

Coram

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice P.K. MISRA

and

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice N. KANNADASAN

W.A. No.1480 of 2005

and W.A.Nos., 1541 of 2005 and W.P. No.25074 of 2005 and

W.A.M.P. Nos.2754 & 2856 of 2005 and

W.P.M.P. No.27462 of 2005

J. Vinoth Raj ... Appellant in W.A. No.1480 of 2005 R. Uma ... Appellant in W.A. No.1541 of 2005 P. Jayakumar ... Petitioner in W.P. No.25074 of 2005 -Vs-

1. State of Tamil Nadu,

rep. by its Secretary to Government,

Higher Education Department,

Fort St. George,

Chennai 9.

2. The Secretary,

Selection Committee,

Directorate of Medical Education,

No.162, Periyar EVR High Road,

Kilpauk, Chennai 10. ... Respondents in W.A.1480 of 2005 &W.P.25074 of 2005 1. The Secretary,

Selection Committee for MBBS,

Kilpauk, Chennai 10.

2. The Govt. of Tamil Nadu,

rep. by Secretary to Government,

Health and Family Welfare

Department, Fort St. George,

Chennai 9.

3. The Secretary,

T.N.P.C.E.E.,

Anna University,

Guindy, Chennai 25. ... Respondents in W.A.1541 of 2005 Appeals filed to set aside the orders of the learned Single Judge dated 22.7.2005 and 27.7.2005 respectively passed in W.P. Nos.21956 of 2005 and 24047 of 2005 respectively and petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a writ of declaration, declaring para 6(ii) of the Prospectus issued by the Government of Tamil Nadu for the admission to Medical/Dental Courses for the academic year 2005-2006 session as illegal and ultra vires to Section 8(d) of the Tamil Nadu General Clauses Act and cannot take away the accrued rights of the petitioner retrospectively and consequently admit the petitioner for MBBS degree course in accordance with merits of the seniority list for the academic year 2005-2006 session. For Appellants : Mr. Vijayan,

Sr. counsel for M/s La Law

(W.A. No.1480 of 2005 &

W.P. No.25074 of 2005)

Mr. A.S. Vijaya Raghavan

(W.A. No.1541 of 2005)

For Respondents : Mr. R. Muthukumaraswamy

Additional Advocate General

assisted by Mr. V. Karthikeyan, Additional Govt. Pleader

:J U D G M E N T



(Judgment of the Court was delivered by P.K. MISRA, J.) W.A.No.1480 of 2005 has been filed by the petitioner in W.P.No.2195 6 of 2005 against the common judgment dated 22.7.2005, dismissing the writ petition.

W.A.No.1541 of 2005 has been filed by the writ petitioner against the order dated 27.7.2005 in W.P.No.24047 of 2005, which has been dismissed by following the decision in W.P.Nos.21956, 22040 of 2005 etc. dated 22.7.2005. W.P.No.25074 of 2005, which is being taken up along with these writ appeals, has been filed by another student. The common prayer in all such writ petitions are for declaration that para 6(ii) of the Prospectus issued by the Government of Tamil Nadu for the admission to Medical/Dental Courses of the Academic year 2005-2006 is illegal.

2. Heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties.

3. The relevant clause is to the following effect:- (ii) those candidates who are presently undergoing any of the professional courses such as MBBS, BDS, B. Pharmacy, B.Sc (Nursing), BPT, BOT, BSMS, BHMS, Engineering, Law, Agriculture, Veterinary etc., and those candidates who have discontinued on any grounds the professional courses mentioned leading to a waste of seat."

3. As already indicated, two writ petitions, namely W.P.Nos.21956 and 24047 of 2005, having been dismissed, two writ appeals have been filed.

4. The contention raised by the learned Senior Counsel appearing for the appellants/petitioner is to the effect that in the previous years and particularly during the year 2004-2005, the condition was that:- "7.(iv)(c) THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OF CANDIDATE ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR MEDICAL, DENTAL COURSES:

(c) Those candidates who have already joined in any of the Professional Courses such as MBBS, BDS, B.Pharmacy, B.Sc(Nursing), BPT, BOT, BSMS, BHMS, Engineering, Law, Agriculture, Veterinary etc. and discontinued the course on any grounds after six months."

It has been further submitted that on the basis of such provision, the petitioners, who had discontinued the course within the stipulated period of six months with a view to appear during the Common Entrance Examination for the subsequent year, have been in fact appeared at the Common Entrance Examination held by the Anna University, which as usual has held such Examination on behalf of the Government, has found that the condition regarding ineligibility has been suddenly changed to the detriment of such students.

5. Learned single Judge in the impugned judgments has held that it is open to the Government to lay down any policy and there is nothing arbitrary in such policy nor there is any violation of principle of legitimate expectation.

6. Learned Senior Counsel appearing for the appellants/petitioner has placed reliance upon the Division Bench decision of this Court reported in 2005(3) CTC 449 (PRIYADARSHINI v. THE SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT, EDUCATION DEPARTMENT). According to him, the students acting upon the usual procedure, which was being followed hitherto, had already discontinued their studies and they had appeared at the Common Entrance Examination on the basis of the Information Booklet issued by the Anna University, as no such disability has been indicated in such Information Booklet, which has been issued during the month of March, 2 005. Therefore, according to the Senior Counsel, the sudden change in the policy making it applicable for the current year has placed such students at a great disadvantage.

7. Learned Additional Advocate General appearing for the State has submitted that the policy has been changed keeping in view the observations made by the Supreme Court in MRIDUL DHAR v. UNION OF INDIA & OTHERS {(2005) 2 SCC 65} laying down a timeframe for admission to MBBS Courses. Since as per the decision of the aforesaid Supreme Court, no admission can take place to MBBS/BDS Course after the month of September, the Government took a decision not to allow any student, who had discontinued the studies in the previous year, as it was not possible to make any admission against such vacant seat vacated by any student. Therefore, the policy decision of the Government cannot be characterised as arbitrary.

8. For the purpose of deciding the present cases, it is not necessary to consider as to whether such policy decision of the Government is arbitrary and offends the provisions of the Constitution contained in Articles 14, 19 and 21, as in our opinion, even assuming such policy decision is a valid policy, such change of policy should not have been made applicable for admission of this year as the candidates depending upon the existing procedure had already discontinued their studies and thereafter on the basis of the Information Booklet issued by the Anna University had also appeared in the Common Entrance Examination after having discontinued their studies within the stipulated period of six months.

9. There is no dispute regarding the fact that the Anna University conducts Common Entrance Examination on behalf of the Government every year and no such disability was indicated in the Information Booklet issued by the University and the only disability clause was in accordance with the policy which was hitherto applicable. The students with a view to have a better career option had already discontinued the studies within the stipulated period of six months on the basis of the existing procedure with the fond hope that they would be eligible for selection for the next year. Moreover, on the basis of the Information Booklet issued by the Anna University, which is the principal agency of the State Government for holding such examination, the students had also appeared at the Common Entrance Examination and long thereafter the present policy change has been effected, which has put such students at a very great disadvantage not envisaged by anybody. If at least by March, 2005 the students would have been made aware about such intended change of policy, such students would have thought of appearing for selection in respect of other Universities. The sudden change of policy, which has been made effective for this year, otherwise leaves such students in lurch as such students can neither continue their studies nor join any professional course in any other University.

10. It is not in dispute that three seats have been kept reserved by interim orders. Having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, the writ appeals and the writ petition are allowed to the extent that the three writ petitioners in question would be considered eligible for selection against the vacant seats, if they are coming within the merit list otherwise. This may be done within a period of seven days from today. Consequently, the connected W.A.M.Ps. and W.P.M.Ps. are closed. No costs.

ssa/dpk.

To

1. The Secretary to

State of Tamil Nadu,

Higher Education Department,

Fort St. George,

Chennai 9.

2. The Secretary,

Selection Committee,

Directorate of Medical Education,

No.162, Periyar EVR High Road,

Kilpauk, Chennai 10.

3. The Secretary,

T.N.P.C.E.E.,

Anna University,

Guindy, Chennai 25.




Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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