The Madras High Court has stayed the operation of the orders of authorities concerned preventing a dental college in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu from admitting students for the academic year 2021-22.
Justice M Dhandapani granted the stay while passing interim orders on a writ petition from Rajas Dental College and Hospital in Kavalkinaru, on Tuesday, challenging the orders of the Union Health Ministry, Dental Council of India and the selection committee of the Directorate of Medical Education, all passed in August, October and November this year, which ultimately culminated in preventing the college from admitting students.
The orders were passed on the ground that the hospital in Boothapandi in Kanyakumari district, with which the college had a tie up, was situated beyond 10 km and that the requirements of 2006 regulations were not met in this connection.
The institute contended that authorities had erroneously applied their mind in respect to the distance by road, when the regulations required only a radius of 10 km and not an equal amount of distance by road. When a statutory exception had been made in the 2006 regulations itself, by no stretch of imagination the authorities could enforce it against the exempted institutions.
Accepting the contentions of the college, the judge pointed out that on the day when the exemption was granted, the distance was within the prescribed limit of 10 km. Further, as rightly pointed out by the petitioner, prior to 2006 regulations, they did not contemplate the distance by road to be within 10 km. Such being the case there was force in the contention of the petitioner and, therefore, there shall be an order of interim stay as prayed for, the judge said.