The Supreme Court today said it would not allow anyone to make a mockery of medical and legal education in the country and warned of stringent steps against those who play with its quality.
The top court said that for someone it may be a matter of making money but for the court it is only concerned with the quality of education.
The observations was made by a bench of Justices S A Bobde and Deepak Gupta when it was pointed out by the counsel for Medical Council of India (MCI) that it was not being allowed to carry out inspection in a medical college in Uttar Pradesh.
"We cannot allow anyone to make a mockery of medical education in the country. The other field with which we are concerned is legal education. Any one playing with the quality of education will be dealt severely," the bench said.
"For some it may be a matter for making money but for the court it is only concerned with the quality of education," it added.
The bench said it has already dealt strongly with those who have played with the quality of education.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for MCI, said that in Uttar Pradesh one of the colleges did not allow the inspection team to enter despite apex court''s direction.
"We must say that in one of the colleges the deficiencies are such that someone needs to be sent to jail," Mr Singh said.
To this, the bench said that if that is the case then it may bar such colleges from taking admissions from next year.
The court asked Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand to reply to the report filed by MCI within four weeks.
It adjourned the matter for further hearing after four weeks. On June 18 last year, the apex court had made an exception by allowing eight government medical colleges in three states, which were barred by the Centre for certain deficiencies, to enrol 800 students in MBBS and BDS courses for academic year 2018-19.
The top court had fixed the accountability on the chief secretary and principal secretary in-charge of medical education of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand for rectifying the deficiencies pointed out by the MCI within the stipulated time-line given by the respective state governments.
It had asked MCI to carry out an inspection after three months to verify if the state governments had rectified the deficiencies pointed out by it.
It had however clarified that the order passed in the present case should not be treated as a precedent and added that it was passed considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case as otherwise, over 800 seats in government medical colleges would have been wasted.
The eight government medical colleges which were barred from admitting students for 2018-19 are -- Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College, Gaya, Vardhman Institute of Medical Sciences, Pawapuri, Nalanda and Government Medical College, Bettiah -- all in Bihar -- which have a total of 250 seats.
The Mahatma Gandhi Medical College at Jamshedpur, Jharkhand was also denied permission to admit students by the Centre owing to some deficiencies.
The four medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh that were denied permission are -- Government Allopathic Medical College at Banda, Government Medical College at Saharanpur, Government Medical College and Super Speciality Hospital at Azamgarh and Rajkiya Medical College at Jalaun district.
The three states had given an undertakings that they had either rectified the deficiencies -- mostly related to shortage of faculty staff -- or would remove the shortcomings within a fixed time-line.
MCI had then said an exception could be created for the colleges on the condition that officials would be held personally accountable for removing the deficiencies.
It had said that a one-time exception could be given, provided that the colleges strictly adhered to the time-line, so that the seats did not go waste.
It had said the letters of permission in respect of medical colleges run by state governments had a special significance as the seats in these institutes were given to students purely on merit and for a nominal fee.