Disabled Student denied BAMS Admission: Allahabad HC slaps Rs 10 lakh compensation on State

[Medical Dialogues] Disabled Student denied BAMS Admission: Allahabad HC slaps Rs 10 lakh compensation on State

Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court recently directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to a disabled student who had been denied admission to BAMS course despite fulfilling all the eligibility conditions.

The HC bench comprising of Satyam Verma was considering a plea filed by the a BAMS aspirant who had appeared in Combined Pre-Ayush Test 2016. After being declared successful, the disabled student Satyam Verma had secured a general category rank of 10570 and category rank of 5345.

It was submitted that a Medical Board had been constituted for testing the physical disability of the student and accordingly, the Medical Board submitted a report finding the petitioner to be physically disabled and his disability was earmarked at 50% to 70%. The report also mentioned that he could get admitted to the course.

Accordingly, the student came to know that his name had appeared in the second list of selected candidates for counselling scheduled on 15.11.2016 against which he deposited an amount of Rs 5000. After participating in the counselling, he was allotted a seat at Sahu Ramnarayan Murlimanohar Ayurvedic College Bareilly for BAMS course.

Following this, he had been asked to report before the concerned authorities. However, it was claimed by the petitioner that even though he reported with all the required documents, he was informed that all the forty seats of the concerned institute had been filled.

Despite several representation his grievance had not been addressed and even though the HC bench had directed the authorities for the same, no decision was taken in this regard.

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As per the latest media report by India Legal, only after the student filed a contempt plea that an order had been passed where it was stated that since the academic year 2016-2017 had ended, the request of the petitioner could not be accepted.

It was the submission of the petitioner that despite being eligible for the admission, and clearing the examination in this regard, he had been denied the BAMS seat.

On the other hand, in an affidavit, the government authorities submitted that the Director, Ayurved had informe the Counselling Board that during the personal conversation held with the petitioner, he had expressed his unwillingness for admission against the BAMS seat and therefore the Counselling Board had given its consent to refund the security fee after obtaining his application.

It was further argued by the authorities that since the petitioner student had been granted provisional admission, he had no vested right on the same. Further it was claimed that the fault was of the principal who had allegedly notified the seat earlier allotted to one Mritunjay Singh. However, as he did not undertake the medical examination, the principal had notified the seat to be vacant and the same seat had been shown in the seat chart for CPAT-2016 Second Counseling, which had been held on 15.11.2016.

After taking note of the submissions, the HC bench perused the documents on record and noted that the seat which was allotted to the petitioner was shown as vacant in the second round of counselling held on 15.11.2016 mainly because the concerned student Mritunjay Singh had not completed the formalities and did not undergo the medical examination.

The court further observed that for the reasons best known, the Principal had allowed Mritunjay Singh to undergo the medical examination on 16.11.2016 although he had not chosen to participate in the second round of counseling.

It was observed by the court that the seat should have been shown as vacant for allocation in the second round of counselling. Further the court noted that once the seat was shown as vacant, it could not be understood how the same could be allotted to the said Mritunjay Singh without having participated in the second round of counseling.

Observing that the authorities had erred not to grant admission to the petitioner, the bench observed, "On one hand, the petitioner was not granted admission and on the other hand the counseling board while deciding the representation of the petitioner have recorded the statement of the Director Ayurvedic (Pathyakram Evam Mulyankan), Lucknow to the effect that he had personal talk with the petitioner and he has expressed his unwillingness to take admission for the allotted seat and seek refund of the security amount of Rs 5000/-."

"In the rejoinder affidavit filed by the petitioner, there is a specific denial that the petitioner had ever refused orally or otherwise from taking admission. It is further argued that even the refund of security, as was mentioned in the decision, has not been given to the petitioner till date," further noted the bench.

Perusing the record, the court observed that nothing on record justified the stand taken by the concerned authorities that the petitioner had orally refused to take admission.

The student's counsel further submitted that the petitioner had never been called to either file an application for refund or for any other reasons. In fact, it was claimed that there was no official communication between the concerned student and the authorities. The student's counsel therefore prayed before the bench for compensation on the account of wastage of the entire career.

In this regard, reliance was placed upon the Supreme Court order in the case of Krina Ajay Shah and others vs Secretary Association of Management of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges Maharashtra and others, where the court had awarded Rs 20 lakh compensation to the petitioner as Public Law Damages.

Therefore, allowing the plea, the bench observed, "In the facts of the case, I have no hesitation in holding that the Principal was wrong in granting admission to Mritunjay Singh after having notified the seat as vacant seat at the time of second round of counseling and the respondent no 3 was clearly in error in denying the relief to the petitioner and recording that the petitioner has agreed for refund of the security amount and is not interested in taking admission. As both the said authorities i.e the respondents no 2 and 3 are the limb of the State, the liability for wrong done by them lies upon the State", the Court said while allowing the petition."

Allowing Rs 10 lakh compensation to the petitioner, the bench directed the Government to pay the same and noted, "The respondent no 1 is directed to pay damages which are quantified at Rs 10,00,000/- (Ten Lacs) to the petitioner with the liberty to the respondent no 1 to recover the same from the officers who may be found responsible. The said amount of damages, quantified above, shall be paid to the petitioner within a period of two months from today on his moving an appropriate application before the respondent no 2."

"The security amount deposited by the petitioner shall also be refunded along with interest @9% per annum from the date of deposit till the date of actual payment/realization. It is further directed that in case the amount of Rs 10,00,000/- (Ten Lacs) as directed above is not paid within two months, the petitioner would be entitled to interest thereon @9% per annum from the date of this order till the date of actual payment/realization", the order further read.

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