The Bombay High Court has offered relief to a city-based MBBS student who had been seeking a transfer from her medical college in Sangli district to another college in Mumbai, or its vicinity, on account of health complications.
In an order passed last week, a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Bharati Dangre directed the Maharashtra government to ensure that the petitioner, a second year student at the Government Medical College at Miraj in Sangli, was transferred to the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College (RGMC) in Mumbai’s neighbouring Thane district.
According to the petitioner, she suffers from an acute case of allergic bronchitis and bronchial asthma, and therefore had urged the state government to allow her to take a transfer to any government or civic-run medical college closer to home in Mumbai, or in Thane.
The petitioner also got No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from her current college, and from the university under whose jurisdiction her current institution as well as the RGMC fall.
She also submitted her medical reports and the recommendation of a board of doctors from a government hospital that she be permitted to take the transfer on account of her health.
However, the state rejected her request saying such migration was not permitted under rules mentioned in its ‘information brochure’ governing MBBS admissions.
Following which the petitioner’s advocate, Rui Rodrigues told HC that the guidelines of the Medical Council of India (MCI) permitted such migration.
As per the MCI rules, the reason for such transfer or migration must be “genuine”, and the student must have the requisite NOCs, Rodrigues told the court.
Also, the number of transfers permitted must not be more than five per cent of the total sanctioned admissions for first year MBBS students in the college that year.
The court was also informed that the RGMC had one out of its total 60 second year seats vacant on account of another case of migration.
On this, the state argued that its information brochure did not recognise a vacancy arising out of a migration as a “clear vacancy” – against which another student could be allowed to take a transfer.
But, the bench rejected the state’s argument saying that since the MCI rules did not have such a condition, the state’s rules could not be permitted to override the MCI’s.
“The learned assistant government pleader states that it is not in dispute that one seat is available in the RGMC, Thane. However, the said seat is not a clear vacancy as per the information brochure of the state government. We are inclined to reject this contention as first of all, the final authority in such matters will be the MCI,” the bench said.
“The state, therefore, is directed to approve the case of the petitioner’s transfer to RGMC,” it added.