The fate of 634 students, accused of adopting unfair means in getting admissions in Madhya Pradesh Medical colleges through VYPAM, hangs in balance as judges of a Supreme Court bench have differed with one asking them to serve as doctors for five years in Army, while the other ordering them to take up the entrance test afresh.
Medicos had challenged two verdicts, delivered in 2014, of the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissing their pleas against cancellation of their results in the entrance examinations, being held from 2008 to 2013, by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), also known as ‘VYPAM’.
The VYPAM scam is also the subject matter of the apex court-mandated CBI probe.
In its inquiry, the examination board had concluded that the exam process was “tampered with” and these 634 medicos were the beneficiaries of “manipulated examination process”.
Referring the divergent verdict to Chief Justice T S Thakur for “further orders”, Justice J Chelameswar said that he favoured permitting students to complete studies and “compensate” society by serving in Army without any claim.
“I would prefer to permit the appellants to complete their study of medicine and become trained doctors to serve the nation. But at the same time there is a compelling national interest that dishonest people cannot be made to believe that ‘time heals everything’ and the society would condone every misdeed if only they can manage to get away with their wrong doing for a considerably long period.
“Society must receive some compensation from wrongdoers. Compensation need not be monetary and in the instant case it should not be. In my view, it would serve the larger public interests, by making the appellants serve the nation for a period of five years as and when they become qualified doctors, without any regular salary and attendant benefits of service under the State, nor any claim for absorption into the service of the State subject of course to the payment of some allowance (either in cash or kind) for their survival…,” Justice Chelameswar said.
Justice A M Sapre differed with Justice Chelameswar and upheld the HC verdict saying that there was “mass copying”.
“The State may consider permitting the appellants and other candidates alike the appellants to appear in the competitive examination whenever it is held and consider granting age relaxation…Beyond this, in my view, the appellants are not entitled to claim any indulgence,” he said.