Fate of 180 MBBS students at stake as Kerala Governor returns bill

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Thiruvananthapuram, April 7 (IANS) Kerala Governor P.Sathasivam on Saturday returned a bill seeking to regularise the admission procedures of 180 third year MBBS students at two self-financing medical colleges in the state.

Sathasivam’s action came two days after the Supreme Court ordered cancellation of admissions of these students as it upheld the appeal by the Medical Council of India against regularisation of these admissions made in the self-financing Kannur and Karuna medical colleges in 2016-17.

The action came as a shock for both the ruling and opposition parties as they had unanimously passed the bill on Wednesday. The Kerala government was in a hurry to pass this bill, as the ordinance on the admission’s validity ends on Sunday but with the Governor returning the bill, the future of these students appears bleak.

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On Saturday, state Law Minister A.K.Balan told the media that the action of Sathasivam should not be seen in any other manner as he has gone according to the apex court directive.

“Now we will speak with the opposition to decide on what can be done to see how best we can save the future of the 180 students,” he said.

In wake of the apex court verdict, both sides had sought to put up a brave face, saying their only concern was the future of the students.

However, the Congress-led opposition in the state came under heavy attack from former Defence Minister A.K.Antony who flayed his party colleagues for supporting the bill, as it was only meant to support unscrupulous managements of these colleges who have flouted every rule in the book and gave admissions to these students.

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Meanwhile sources in the government said that as per norms, the state government can send back the bill again to the Governor, who will then, as per convention, have to give his assent to it, but this course appears remote, for the Supreme Court on Thursday had come down heavily on the state government for trying to regularise a wrong with a legislation and warned of strict action if there is any attempt to circumvent the courts directive.

Now all eyes are on the apex court, as the case will come up for further hearing early next month.

Meanwhile the parents of these students have decided to file a petition seeking to be impleaded in the case in the Supreme Court to see if they can salvage the admission of their wards.

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–IANS

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