Bombay HC Upholds Doctor's MBBS Degree Despite False OBC Certificate Citing Nationwide Doctor Shortage

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The court noted "In our country, where the ratio of the Doctors to the population is very low, any action to withdraw the qualification obtained by the Petitioner would be a national loss since the citizens of this country would be deprived of one Doctor”

In a recent ruling, the Bombay High Court decided against revoking the MBBS degree of a doctor, even though her admission to the course was secured under false pretenses using an OBC-Non-Creamy Layer (NCL) Certificate.

The court, presided over by a division bench of Justice AS Chandurkar and Justice Jitendra Jain, observed that “it would not be proper at this stage to withdraw the qualification obtained by the Petitioner more so when the Petitioner has qualified as a Doctor. In our country, where the ratio of the Doctors to the population is very low, any action to withdraw the qualification obtained by the Petitioner would be a national loss since the citizens of this country would be deprived of one Doctor.”

The court's decision came in response to a writ petition challenging the cancellation of the petitioner's admission to an MBBS course due to an invalid NCL certificate. The petitioner, enrolled in the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and Hospital, Sion, in the academic year 2012-13 under the OBC category, faced scrutiny following a writ petition questioning admissions under the OBC category.

The petitioner's father, who obtained the Certificate, was found to have provided false information during hearings held by the Enquiry Committee in April and October 2013. The Committee concluded that he misrepresented facts, including his marital status and income details, leading to the cancellation of the Certificate by Respondent No.3-College on October 8, 2013. Consequently, the petitioner's admission to the MBBS course at Respondent No.4-College was revoked on February 1, 2014. In response, the petitioner filed a petition challenging the cancellation of admission and the Certificate. On February 11, 2014, the Court granted interim relief, allowing the petitioner to continue her MBBS course while the case was under review.

The court scrutinised the petitioner's father's application dated June 25, 2012, for obtaining a Non-Creamy Layer Certificate. It was found that the statement regarding the petitioner's mother being a housewife with no income was inaccurate, as she was employed with the Corporation as a Class-III employee. The father's motive for providing false information was to evade the upper income limit required for obtaining the certificate.

Furthermore, inconsistencies emerged regarding the petitioner's parents' marital status, with the father claiming to have divorced the mother in 2008 but evidence suggesting otherwise. The court dismissed this claim as self-contradictory and deemed the application to be based on false information.

The court emphasised that both parents' incomes should be considered for determining the Non-Creamy Layer status, and the petitioner's mother's income would have led to the family exceeding the income limit specified by the government.

The court acknowledged that “there can be no doubt that the basis of cancelling the certificate and the admission is justified since the same was based on false, incorrect and suppression of information.” Consequently, the petitioner's plea to invalidate the communication dated October 8, 2013, was dismissed.

While acknowledging the seriousness of the false representation, the court also recognised the petitioner's completion of the MBBS course under interim court orders since February 2014. Given the scarcity of doctors in the nation, the court deemed it improper to withdraw the petitioner's qualification. However, it stressed that admission based on unfair means deprived other eligible candidates and undermined the integrity of the medical profession. “If the medical profession is based on a foundation of false information then certainly it would be a blot on the noble profession,” the court remarked.

To address the situation, the court ordered the cancellation of the Non-Creamy Layer Certificate and reclassification of the petitioner's admission under the Open Category.

Additionally, the petitioner was directed to pay the difference in fees for an Open Category candidate and a penalty of Rs. 50,000 to the concerned hospital.


Cause Title:  Lubna Shoukat Mujawar v State of Maharashtra [WP No 132 of 2017]