Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Vyapam scam: SC upholds admission cancellation of 634 students

In its 87-page judgement, the bench said the case in hand highlighted the "mass fraud" and if any leniency was shown to the students, then it would encourage others to follow the same course.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
February 13, 2017 9:42:54 pm
 Vyapam scam, Vyapam case, Supreme Court-Vyapam scam, Madhya Pradesh-Vyapam scam, cancellation of admission in MBBS course, Vyapam-MBBS course, MBBS course students' admission cancelled, India news, Indian Express Supreme Court. (File Photo)

In a jolt to 634 medical students, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld cancellation of their admission in the MBBS course through Vyapam test in Madhya Pradesh for adopting unfair means, terming their action as “an act of deceit”. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said the actions of the students were founded on “unacceptable behaviour” and warranted no interference under Article 142 of the Constitution.

“The actions of the appellants are founded on unacceptable behaviour and in complete breach of the rule of law. Their actions constitute acts of deceit, invading into a righteous social order. National character, in our considered view, cannot be sacrificed for benefits – individual or societal.

“If we desire to build a nation on the touchstone of ethics and character and if our determined goal is to build a nation where only the rule of law prevails, then we cannot accept the claim of the appellants for the suggested societal gains… We have no difficulty whatsoever in concluding in favour of the rule of law. Such being the position, it is not possible for us to extend to the appellants, any benefit under Article 142 of the Constitution,” the bench said.

The batch of matters were referred to the three-judge bench after a two-judge bench of Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre, though they concurred regarding guilt of adopting unfair means by the medical aspirants, but had differed on the quantum of sentence.

During the hearing earlier, the three-judge bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and Arun Mishra,had referred the case back to the bench of Justices Chelameswar and Sapre seeking a clarification on whether it can go into the entire matter afresh or restrict itself to the quantum of sentence.

In its 87-page judgement, the bench today said the case in hand highlighted the “mass fraud” and if any leniency was shown to the students, then it would encourage others to follow the same course.

Article 142 deals with special powers of the Supreme Court to enforce decree to meet the ends of justice.

The court, in its judgement, said “We are of the considered view, no matter how extensive the societal gains may be, the jurisdiction conceived of under Article 142 of the Constitution, to do complete justice in a matter, cannot be invoked in a situation as the one in hand. Even the trivialist act of wrong doing, based on a singular act of fraud, cannot be countenanced in the name of justice.

“The present case unfolds a mass fraud. The course suggested, if accepted, would not only be imprudent, but would also be irresponsible. It would encourage others to follow the same course.”

It further said that jurisdiction exercisable by the apex court under Article 142, cannot be invoked to legitimise acts of fraudulent character.

“We must compliment, all the counsel appearing for the appellants, in projecting the claim(s) of appellants, from all conceivable angles. We are however not persuaded to accept the legitimacy of the same. Truthful conduct must always remain the hallmark of the rule of law. No matter the gains or the losses.

“The jurisdiction exercisable by this Court under Article 142, cannot ever be invoked, to salvage, and legitimise acts of fraudulent character. Fraud cannot be allowed to trounce on the stratagem of public good,” it said.

Referring to Priya Gupta case in which the court had exercised its jurisdiction under Article 142, the court said it was not possible for it to preserve the admission of the appellants.

“In the Priya Gupta case, the appellants would have got admission to the MBBS course on the basis of their own merit position in any case. The instant distinguishing feature sets the two matters apart. Actually, we have by our determination, fully adopted the position expressed in the Priya Gupta case, inasmuch as we have also not allowed the appellants to retain the benefit of, whatever was obtained by their interpolations, and was not their legitimate due,” it said.

The medicos had challenged two verdicts, delivered in 2014, of the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissing their pleas against cancellation of the results in the entrance examinations held between 2008 and 2013 by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), also known as VYAPAM.

In its inquiry, the examination board had concluded that the exam process was “tampered with” and these 634 medicos were the beneficiaries of the “manipulated examination process”.

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