Patna HC :Bihar exam board to pay 50 lacs compensation

The Patna high court, on Thursday, ordered the Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (BCECEB) to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation to three medical undergraduate course aspirants, who were denied MBBS pre-admission counselling, on October 7 last year, against all-India quota Seats.Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh passed the order on Writ Applications filed by Manisha Gaurav and others.

Justice Singh, in his judgement running into 51 pages, ordered the BCECEB to pay as compensation a sum of Rs 20 lakh each to two petitioners – Manisha Gaurav and Adhishree – and a sum of Rs 10 lakh to petitioner Dipty Preyasi.The money, the court said, was awarded as damages caused to them because of the illegal and unconstitutional denial of their fundamental right to participate in the said counselling.

Anshul, the counsel for the petitioners, said that all the petitioners had appeared for the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) (UG)-2016, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, the result of which was published on August 16, 2016.He said, the petitioners had qualified for and participated in the counselling and were accordingly allowed admission in BDS Course on the basis of merit.

Thereafter, the controller of examination, BCECEB, issued an advertisement announcing that in keeping with the Supreme Court’s order of October 6, counselling for filling up of balance of 15% all India quota seats remaining would be held on October 7 that year.

 Thereafter, the petitioners approached the respondent officials but they refused to accept their candidature for counselling without any valid reason though they were given counselling form, which they duly filled up.

As all their original certificates were with the respondent authorities since the last counselling, in which they were given admission to BDS course, they informed the officials of their inability to produce the same. However, the officials would not hear their plea.The officials’ stand was that once the petitioners accepted a seat in BDS course they could not be allowed to participate in counselling again.

Justice Singh said, “The petitioners, Manisha Gaurav and Adhishree are apparently much above in the merit position, which is evident from the comparative chart. There would have been no question of denial of their admission to MBBS course, had their candidature been entertained and had they been allowed to participate in the counselling on October 7”.

He said, “The denial by the respondents, particularly, the BCECEB, of rights of petitioners, in my opinion, is, thus, in gross violation of Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India. Since such breach cannot be remedied given the facts and circumstances of the case, the damage caused to them is enormous and will have to be compensated by issuing appropriate orders exercising power of judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and they have to be compensated.”

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