The Bombay High Court recently ordered the Kolhapur-based DY Patil Medical College to restore the original credentials of three medical students by July 10, 2023. These documents contain the students’ MBBS grade reports and degree certificates, which are essential for their entrance to postgraduate programmes. The students claimed that their university was unjustly withholding their paperwork. The college was criticised by the High Court bench, which was made up of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale, for failing to appear before the Court after receiving a summons on June 15.
The petitioner pupils went before the High Court and complained that their school was wrongfully refusing to provide them their original documents when they wanted to leave. The HC panel took note of a notification issued by the Maharashtra State Government in 2018 prohibiting private medical colleges from requiring students to serve mandatory service bonds after completing their medical education.
The High Court took into account the arguments made by the solicitors for the students, the Centre, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) at the hearing on June 15. The HC bench noted after reviewing the arguments that the college failed to show up in court despite being served with the petition. The bench issued a second notice to give the college time to respond and be heard, which resulted in the matter being put on hold. The judges made it clear that if the college continued to be absent, no more adjournments would be given.
However, the college once again did not show up for the hearing that followed on June 28. With this in mind, the High Court noted that DY Patil College appeared to disregard both the court’s notices and its need to participate in the proceedings. The Court emphasised that the college would face repercussions and would not be able to argue that it was not heard if it failed to appear despite receiving a notice.
Since May 2022, the college allegedly hasn’t provided the authentic postgraduate certificates and marksheets. A notification saying that colleges recognised as universities or considered universities by the UGC could not keep original certificates presented at the time of admission was issued in 2018, the UGC’s legal counsel informed the court.
The Court expressed its serious dissatisfaction in view of this information, especially in light of the UGC directive. The bench ordered DY Patil Medical College to give the three petitioning doctors the original records, and set a follow-up hearing for June 17 to make sure compliance.
The recent order from the Bombay High Court to the DY Patil Medical College emphasises the need of upholding students’ legal rights and educational institutions’ legal responsibilities. Withholding original credentials and documentation might negatively affect students’ prospects for the future and prevent them from advancing academically and professionally. To ensure a just and open system for students, it is essential for colleges and universities to follow the rules established by the government and regulatory organisations.