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April 2018
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Kerala News
In Kerala, all eyes on governor as Supreme Court stays firm on cancelling 180 MBBS admissions
 
(Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 6, 2018):The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the operation of an ordinance promulgated by the Kerala government in October to legalise the admission of 180 medical students. The court also told the government to expel the students, 150 students from Kannur Medical College and 30 from Karuna Medical College in Palakkad.

In October, the apex court had cancelled the admission of the 180 students, admitted in 2016-’17, after the State Admission Supervisory Committee for Professional Colleges reported “discrepancies in the admission process”. To override the judgement, the government brought an ordinance, but it was challenged by the Medical Council of India. Thursday’s order came on the council’s appeal.

Since an ordinance is effective for only six months, the ruling Left Democratic Front, opposition United Democratic Front and the lone Bharatiya Janata Party legislator on Wednesday joined hands to pass a bill regularising the admissions. Only Congress legislators VT Balram and PT Thomas dissented when the Kerala Professional Colleges (Regularisation of Admission in Medical Colleges) Bill, 2018, which was meant to replace the ordinance, was tabled in the Assembly. They questioned whether the Assembly had the Constitutional sanction to enact legislation that would annul the apex court’s order cancelling the admission.

The government, however, maintained that the bill was a humanitarian intervention “to save the academic life of innocent students”, who are being penalised for the errors of the colleges’ managements.

But the urgency with which the government and the Opposition came together to pass the bill raised allegations of corruption. Senior Congress leader VM Sudheeran fired the first salvo on Thursday, saying his party should not have supported the government’s “corrupt move”. “I do not understand why the Congress and other members of the United Democratic Front supported such a corrupt move,” he said. “It is an unpardonable mistake. It would give rise to allegations that there existed an unholy alliance between the government and the opposition.”

But the leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala rejected Sudheeran’s suggestion. “We never supported the mischievous practices of the managements of private colleges,” he said. “We backed the bill to save the lives of hapless students.”

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of the Congress echoed this view. “Congress didn’t commit any mistake in supporting the bill,” he said. “Our aim was to end the misery of the students.”


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