High court nullifies admission of 79 nursing students at Ambala college - Hindustan Times
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High court nullifies admission of 79 nursing students at Ambala college

By, Chandigarh
Oct 19, 2023 09:36 AM IST

The college has 100 seats for BSc nursing course, 60 for basic nursing and 40 for MSc nursing, all of which can be filled only through CET

The Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) has declared the admission of 79 nursing students of Mahabir College of Nursing, Ambala, null and void as they had been accepted into the courses, for the academic session, 2020-2021, even though they had not taken the mandatory Combined Entrance Test (CET).

The court has directed the Haryana government to lay down specific guidelines about filling up such vacant seats in private aided/unaided nursing institutions within three months. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The court has directed the Haryana government to lay down specific guidelines about filling up such vacant seats in private aided/unaided nursing institutions within three months. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The college has 100 seats for BSc nursing course, 60 for basic nursing and 40 for MSc nursing, all of which can be filled only through CET. However, as the seats remained vacant, the college admitted 31 students in BSc nursing, 32 in basic nursing and 16 in MSc without the CET, and without the presence of a government observer.

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The HC bench of acting chief justice Ritu Bahri and justice Manisha Batra

dismissed the plea from The Mahabir Education Welfare Society, which runs the college, observing that letting the 79 students to continue would not only jeopardise the purity of the selection process but also embolden errant educational institutions and candidates into a sense of complacency and impunity that gains achieved by such wrongs could be retained by appealing to the sympathy of the Court.

The admissions were to be based on a CET, conducted by Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak. The candidates had to fulfill the eligibility criteria and counselling was to take place as per the instructions of the government. The university cancelled these admissions in March 2020, intimating the college that the admissions were not as per university counselling and had been made by the college at its own level. Subsequently, the students were allowed to appear in the first-year examination by the HC and the college was to file a fresh representation before the government. However, the representation was rejected by the government which imposed a 1 lakh fine on the college.

The college had challenged all these proceedings before the HC, stating that the government observer was not deputed as the seats had remained vacant and further, it was incurring financial losses due to the vacancy. It was also argued that Indian Nursing Council regulations allowed admissions without CET.

The government had argued that college was well aware of the terms and conditions, but still conducted private counselling and granted admissions, which is not permissible as per law.

The court said that a specific process for admission on the basis of merit in CET was prescribed by the government and there was no instruction or authorisation on the part of the state or the university to the college that students who had not participated in CET would be eligible for admission.

The court noted that even though the state also failed in devising any mechanism to admit the students against the vacant seats, the college had no liberty to grant admission to students who had not participated in CET.

“The admissions could not be made by compromising the merit of students...,” the bench held adding that in courses like these, private colleges cannot be allowed to admit students on vacant seats at their own and fill the same by surpassing the procedure of CET even if such seats went vacant after the last round.

The court further said that it was also known to the students that their admissions were not made in accordance with the prescribed procedure and that it was on provisional basis.

“In our opinion, permitting the petitioner to regularise the admissions of the above 79 students or to let them appear in their examination for the subsequent years, would certainly be tantamount to subversion of law which is not justified as the same would further amount to misplaced sympathy in favour of the petitioner and those students,” it said dismissing plea from the college.

The court has, however, directed the Haryana government to lay down specific guidelines about filling up such vacant seats in private aided/unaided nursing institutions within three months.

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