Karnataka HC raps KEA for cancelling MD seat illegally via WhatsApp, imposes 1L fine 

EdexLive Desk

The Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) was fined Rs 1 lakh by the Karnataka High Court on Thursday, February 22, for arbitrarily cancelling Dr Rajesh Kumar D's MD seat in Respiratory Medicine under the in-service quota and illegally assigning it to Dr Pradeep Naik.

Chief Justice PS Dinesh Kumar and Justice TG Shivashankare Gowda's division bench passed the order, while also considering a petition from Dr Rajesh, an assistant surgeon at the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, challenging the KEA's clandestine allocation of the seat to Naik, reports The New Indian Express.

A month after Dr Rajesh joined the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, his seat was cancelled. This occurred as a result of a February 25, 2022, letter from the Deputy Director of Medical Education (DME) to KEA ordering the cancellation of the seat being shared on WhatsApp. Following the cancellation, Dr Naik was given the seat in the second round of counselling instead of the one that was allotted.

As a result, the court ruled that KEA had not provided sufficient evidence to support its claim that Dr Naik was given a seat in the second round of counselling even though there was none available.

The court said, "We are shocked to note that the DME issued the cancellation letter on the very same day on which he received the letter submitted by Naik," expressing regret that an officer of the rank and stature of DME had chosen to cancel the petitioner's seat without following standard operating procedure and issuing notice to the petitioner.

The court nullified the letter that had been used to revoke Dr Rajesh's seat allocation, ordering KEA to assign the seat in his favour. The court ordered that of the Rs 1 lakh that was assessed as costs, Rs 50,000 be given to Dr Rajesh and the remainder amount be placed with the Registrar General of the high court.

Dr Rajesh was offered a vacant place in the same course at the same university by the KEA's legal representative. However, it was contended by KEA and Dr Naik that even if the allocation in Naik's favour is deemed unlawful, Dr Rajesh will not gain from it as Naik had already finished a year of the course.

Regarding this, the court said, "In our view, this argument is to be noted only to be rejected because the collective stand of KEA and Naik is to defeat the petitioner's claim and cover the mismanagement and illegal allotment to Naik."

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