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No increase of medical seats by interim court orders: Supreme Court
January, 16th 2012

The Supreme Court has ruled that courts cannot increase seats in medical colleges through interim orders as the power to hike the number of seats is vested with the Medical Council of India's (MCI) Board of Governors alone.

A bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad, in a judgement, said any such order by courts will have a disastrous effect on the rule of law as it amounts to conferring legal sanctity to unrecognised seats held by colleges.

"We cannot imagine anything more destructive of the rule of law than a direction by the court to allow continuance of such students (on unrecognised seats), whose admissions is found illegal in the ultimate analysis," Justice Prasad said in his judgement.

"By virtue of such order students are admitted as in the present case and though many of them had taken the risk knowingly, but few may be ignorant. In most of such cases when finally the issue is decided against the college, the welfare and plight of the students are ultimately projected to arouse sympathy of the court.

"It results in very awkward and difficult situation. If, on ultimate analysis, it is found that the college's claim for increase of seats is untenable, in such an event the admission of students with reference to the increased seats shall be illegal," the court said.

The apex court passed the ruling upholding MCI's appeal challenging a Karnataka High Court's direction permitting JSS Medical College, to increase its MBBS course seats from 150 to 200 for the academic year 2011-2012

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