New Delhi: The Supreme Court today cancelled over 300 admissions of medical students who entered various medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh between 2008 and 2012 after clearing Vyapam (Madhya Pradesh Vyavasayik Pareeksha Mandal) – a multi-crore scam-tainted entrance tests.
The order came from a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar who refused to give any relief to the students in question. Earlier, a two-judge bench had split on the future of the students with one judge recommending leniency.
But on Monday, the SC declined to show any sympathy and let the students take up medical profession despite holding their admissions illegal. The students had urged the court that they had studied hard for five years and cleared all the internal college exams.
The bench’s order came on a reference made to it by a two-judge bench, which in May 2016 struck down the admissions.
The verdict had come after revelations that the Vyapam let candidates morph photographs and send impersonators to write tests.
Considered one of India’s biggest corruption scandals, the Vyapam scam hit headlines in 2015 after a string of mysterious deaths of witnesses and suspects. Top state BJP leaders and ministers are accused in the multi-crore scam being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In the May 2016 decision, justice J Chelameswar held it would not be prudent to let the students waste the knowledge they had acquired so far. Saying the students were not criminals as they were juveniles when the incident happened, he asked them to serve with the army or in rural areas for five years without getting paid.
Justice AM Sapre, the other judge, disagreed. He ordered they should be completely barred.
Due to this split decision,the matter was referred to a three-judge bench that has now upheld the view of Justice Sapre.
Congress today demanded the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan after the Supreme Court upheld the cancellation of admissions of 634 students in various medical colleges of the state through the ‘Vyapam’ test.
“The decision has exposed that the corrupt network of mafia, power-brokers and officials of the Medical Education Department and state Professional Examination Board (popularly known as ‘Vyapam’) was involved in getting these students passed through illegal means. Chouhan should resign immediately,” state Congress president Arun Yadav said.
Senior Congress leader Ajay Singh said the apex court’s order had substantiated the accusations of a scam.