K.C. Agrawal, J.
1. The petitioner, Dr. Pramod Kumar, is a medical graduate from the Moti Lal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad. After having passed his M. B. B. S. examination in April 1975, he joined House Job in Orthopaedics for a period of one year with effect from April 1976 to March 1977. He thereafter, obtained a post graduate diploma in Orthopaedics. Having obtained the Diploma, he joined post graduate course of D. M. R. E. Before he could succeed in this Degree, he applied in December 1979, for admission to the post graduate course in Radiology. The application came up for consideration for provisional selection before the College Council, which consisted of all the Heads of the Departments and the Principal of the College, The College Council found that the petitioner since had joined the Provincial Medical Service and did not obtain prior permission from the State Government, his application for admission to the M. D. Course could not be considered.
2. However, the application came for final selection and admission to the post graduate course before the Research Degree Committee. This Committee consisted of the Vice Chancellor, the principal of the College, and the Head of the Department concerned. The meeting of the College Council was held on 2-1-1980, and, thereafter the meeting of the Research Degree Committee was held on 4-2-1980. The decision of the Research Degree Committee admitting Respondents Nos. 6 and 7 was communicated by Office Memo No. 1519 dated 8-2-1980. From paragraph 4 of the counter-affidavit, of Dr. Y. P. Naithani, it appears that the application of the petitioner for admission to the post graduate course in Radiology was not considered as he had not applied through his Department. The petitioner, thereafter, filed the present writ petition in this Court.
3. The main ground taken was that there being no requirement of obtaining prior permission of the State Government to join post graduate course or to get the application forwarded by the Government, the non-consideration of the application of the petitioner for admission was illegal.
4. The writ petition was contested by the respondents. Amongst the affidavits filed on their behalf, two of them were those of Dr. Y. P. Naithani, who was the Acting Principal of the Moti Lal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad, and of Dr. G. K. Agrawal, Head of the Department of Radiology. In both of these counter-affidavits, the justification pleaded was that since the application for admission to the post graduate course had not been forwarded by the State Government, the application could not be considered. The third counter-affidavit filed was that of Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Respondent 6, who had been given the admission in thepost graduate course in Radiology. Apart from supporting the case taken in the counter-affidavits filed on behalf of the Medical College, the said respondent asserted that as the petitioner did not have the requisite qualification for being admitted to the post graduate course in Radiology, his application was rightly rejected.
5. The question that arises for determination in the present case is whether the non-consideration of the application of the petitioner on the ground stated above was justified. Pursuant to the power conferred by the Medical Council Act, the Medical Council of India has framed Regulations under Section 33 of the said Act for admission to the Post-graduate Medical Education. For the point urged, it is not necessary to deal in detail with the provisions of all these Regulations or Recommendations. The Medical Council of India, however, recommended that admission to the post-graduate course would be on merit. The method of evaluation of merit has been given at page 10 of the Medical Council of India Recommendations on Post-graduate Medical Education, 1976 Edition. The aforesaid recommendation is as follows :
'The Post-graduate Committee was of the opinion that in order to determine the merit of a candidate for admission to post-graduate medical courses, (i) his performance at the M. B. B. S. examinations, (ii) his performance during the course of internship and housemanship for which a daily assessment chart be maintained and (iii) the report of the teachers which is to be submitted periodically may be considered.
Alternatively the authorities concerned may conduct competitive entrance examination to determine the merit of a candidate for admission to postgraduate medical courses.'
6. From the above, it would be seen that the yardstick of the merit is the marks obtained. It is needless to emphasise the importance of a postgraduate degree. In making the provision for admission to the post graduate course on merit, the intention obviously was to choose meritorious candidates as that would exclude promotion of sub-standard candidates and would not bring about a fall in medical competence, injurious in the long run. Theobject of selection for admission is not only to provide the students with adequate means of livelihood, but also to provide much needed specialised medical treatment to the people and to improve public health generally.
7. Reverting to the point, it would be noticed that, admittedly, the petitioner's application had not been considered on the ground that his application was neither forwarded by the State Government nor was prior permission given to him to join the post graduate course in Radiology. Since the application had not been considered, the burden lay on the respondents to justify their action. For justifying their action, reliance had been placed on a Government Order, No. 1140 Sa-3/ 4/77/75, dated 22-4-1976. On the basis of the aforesaid Government Order, an argument was built by the learned Standing Counsel that obtaining of the permission from the Government to join post graduate course was a condition precedent. We do not find anything in this G. O. which could help the Medical College in justifying its stand. It only provided that no permission would be accorded to any officer in service for the study of any post graduate course, in any specialised branch, whatsoever. It further laid down that if any officer wanted to pursue any post graduate course at his own expense, the Government could, after his admission, consider the question of granting leave admissible to him under the rules. From the above, it would be found that the Government did not lay down that an application made for admission to the post graduate course could not be considered by the Medical College unless prior permission had been obtained. On the contrary, the said Government Order laid it down that the question of permission to join the post graduate course could be considered by the Government after the admission had been obtained.
8. In paragraph 9 of the counter-affidavit Dr. Y. P. Naithani, the allegations were that the Government had been issuing orders from time to time that Government servants could only attend classes and courses provided prior permission was given. In this respect, reference was made to the Government Order, which was filed as Annexure '1' to the counter-affidavit. This annexure is dated 18-10-1977, We areunable to find anything in this Government Order which provided that the Government servants could not be admitted to post graduate courses without Government's permission. This Annexure '1' to the counter-affidavit was not a copy of any Government Order, but a letter asking the Principal of the Ganesh Shanker Vidyarthi Medical College to submit a list of candidates attending the classes of post graduate courses without the previous permission of the Government. We are, therefore, of opinion that the Medical College acted illegally in refusing to consider the application of the petitioner on an erroneous ground.
9. Reliance was placed by the Standing Counsel on a Government Order dated February 6, 1980. Counsel urged that by the aforesaid Government Order, the State Government directed the Principals of the various Medical Colleges not to admit any Government servant to post graduate courses without prior approval. This Government Order could not be taken shelter of by the respondents to justify their action. It was issued on 6-2-1980, whereas the decision in the case of the petitioner had been taken on 4-2-1980. The Government Order had not seen the light of the day when the application filed by the petitioner for admission to the post graduate course was considered. We are unable to find anything in this Government Order as well which prohibited the consideration of the application of Government servants not applying for admission to the post graduate courses without prior permission of the State Government. This Government Order laid down that as it was not possible to consider the grant of permission to all the officers who submitted applications for admission to post graduate courses, it was necessary that only the applications of those officers were considered who succeeded in getting the admission.
10. It is true that the aforesaid Government Order mentioned that the applications for admission to the post graduate course of P. M. S./P. M. H. S. officers could be considered, which had been forwarded by the Medical Officers concerned, but even the requirement of forwarding was not made a condition precedent. A condition precedent is one which must happen or be performed before some right thereon accrues. The provision was only an enabling one. It did not take away the power of the Medical College to consider the applications for admission to the post graduate course of the P. M. S./ P. M. H. S. officers. It is the settled law that an authority created under the law is required to act in the manner provided or not at all. The Medical College should have considered the application of the petitioner for admission to the post graduate course, on merits. It was led away by irrelevant considerations. A court of law is entitled to investigate the action of a statutory authority with a view to seeing whether it has taken into account the matter which it ought not take into account, or, conversely, has refused to take into account the matter which it ought to have taken into account. In the instant case, we find that the power conferred was not legally exercised. Having not considered the application of the petitioner on merits, the Medical College could not, in the eye of law, be said to have exercised the power conferred upon it.
11. Sri Navin Sinha, learned counsel appearing for respondent 3, attempted to justify the non-consideration of the application of the petitioner on the ground that he lacked the basic qualification necessary for such an admission. We are not inclined to go into this question in the present writ petition. It has been pointed out above that the application had not been considered by the Medical College on merits. We cannot act as an appellate authority over the decision of the Medical College and take upon ourselves the job of deciding whether the petitioner possessed the requisite qualifications for being admitted to the post graduate course.
12. In Mohinder Singh v. The Chief Election Commissioner, (AIR 1975 SC 851), when an attempt was made to justify an order passed by the statutory functionary on certain grounds which did not form part of its order, by fresh reasons, in the shape of affidavit, the Supreme Court held :
'The second equally relevant matter is that when a statutory functionary makes an order based on certain grounds, its authority must be judged by the reasons so mentioned and cannot be supplemented by fresh reasons in the shape of affidavit or otherwise. Otherwise, an order bad in the beginning may, by the time it comes to court on account of a challenge, get validated by additional grounds later brought out.'
13. It, therefore, appears that an order of a statutory body or authority cannot be construed in the light of explanations subsequently given. For what we have said above, we find that non-consideration of the application for admission filed by the petitioner was illegal.
14. Consequently, the writ petition succeeds in part and is partly allowed. We direct the Medical College concerned to reconsider the application of the petitioner for admission to the post graduate course in Radiology and decide it on or before 31st August, 1980. This would require reconsideration of the cases of respondents Nos. 6 and 7 as well. However, the studies of Respondents Nos. 6 and 7 would not be affected as a result of this judgment so long as a final decision in the case of the petitioner is not taken. We make no order as to costs.