P.R. Gokulakrishnan, J.
1. The Writ Petitioner by name K. Suganthi is the appellant herein. She filed the Writ Petition for the issue of a writ of mandamus or other appropriate writ direction or order, directing the respondents to give effect to the results published by the Selection Committee by admitting her to the first year M.B.B.S. Course, 1982-83. The appellant, after completing her B. Sc, degree course, applied to the medical college in the State of Tamil Nadu to get admission into the first year M.B.B.S. course. In the selection made, she was selected and the same was communicated to her and was also published in local dailies and in the college notice board. On the date of the application, the appellant was admittedly studying in the engineering course in Coimbatore and she has also undergone six months course in Engineering (first semester). The prospectus clearly lays down the guidelines and eligibility for admission to the M.B.B.S. course and Clause 7(1) of the prospectus clearly states that candidates who have already undergone professional course for the first semester (six months) in Agriculture, Veternary, B.D.S., B. Pharm., Engineering etc., and those who had failed three times in the first year M.B.B.S., course are not eligible to apply for admission to M.B.B.S. course. Immediately after the intimation and publication of the results of selection of the appellant to the M.B.B.S. course for 1982-83, the Secretary, Selection Committee has sent a telegram dated 28-8-1982 intimating the appellant that her selection has been withheld since she has undergone six months engineering course and asking her to clarify. Aggrieved by this attitude of the Respondents, the appellant has come forward with the present writ petition for directing the authorities to give effect to the results published and admit the appellant in the first year M.B.B.S. course for 1982-83. The respondents, in their counter, have specifically averred the purport of Clause 7(1) of the prospectus and stated that they have correctly refused admission to the appellant. The learned single Judge of this Court, after holding that Clause 7 of the prospectus is intra vires the Constitution and that there is no question of estoppel as such in this case to restrain the respondents from giving effect to Clause 7(1) of the prospectus, dismissed the writ petition. It is as against this order, the present writ appeal has been filed by the writ petitioner.
2. Mr. M. Kalyanasundaram, learned Counsel appearing for the appellant, submitted that a clear discrimination is being made between the candidates who have joined the professional course already and those who apply for the first time to the medical course and as such, Clause 7(1) of the prospectus clearly offends Article 14 of the Constitution. He further submitted that there is no nexus between the clause inserted and the object sought to be achieved by the authorities concerned. He also submitted that the respondents are estopped from denying a seat to the appellant in M.B.B.S. course.
3. Mr.Sadanand, learned Government Advocate on record submitted that there is clear nexus for the objects sought to be achieved as far as the introduction of Clause 7(1) in the prospectus is concerned and that there cannot be any estoppel as such since the appellant has not been put to any loss or prejudice by the refusal of admission in the first year M.B.B.S. course.
4. We have carefully gone through the pleadings and the judgment rendered, by the learned single Judge of this Court. Clause 7(1) of the prospectus reads as follows:
Candidates who have already undergone professional courses for the first semester (six months) in Agriculture, Veternary, B.D.S., B. Pharm., Engineering, etc., and those who had failed three times in the first year M.B.B.S. course are not eligible to apply for admission to M.B.B.S. course.
There is absolutely no dispute with regard to the fact that the appellant has undergone the first semester (six months) in engineering course at Coimbatore and she is a student there. There is absolutely no dispute also with regard to the fact that the appellant was interviewed by the Selection Committee. The interview card sent to her clearly states that she has to appear before the Selection Committee subject to eligibility for personal interview. Even the list published in dailies clearly states as follows:
Following is the provisional list of B.Sc. graduates (ten per cent quota)selected for admission to the M.B.B.S. course during 1982-83.
In that provisional list, the appellant's number finds a place. The telegram, which was sent subsequently after verifying the fact that the appellant is undergoing engineering course at Coimbatore for over six months, states that the selection with number 9998(which is the number assigned to the appellant for medical college interview) was withheld since the appellant has already undergone six months course in engineering. It is needless to say that the seats available in professional course enumerated in Clause 7 of the present prospectus, are limited while the applications for admission are numerous. When there is such a demand, the State, which is running most of the professional college, thought it fit to restrict the admission and distribute the seats equally to those who are longing for admission. The State, having regard to the definite commitments and other relevant considerations, can only admit a specific number of students to the specific college, it cannot be denied the power to admit such qualified students as pass the reasonable tests laid down by it. This is a power which every private owner of a college will have, and the Government, which runs its own colleges, cannot be denied that power'. Such a proposition found favour in the decision reported in R. Chitralekha v. State of Mysore : 6SCR368 .
5.Selection of the best candidates for admission to available seats in different categories in the professional colleges with an eye to restrict the number on some reasonable basis since the colleges cannot hold beyond a particular number of students, is a power given to the authorities after evolving certain policies for the selection. One such policy in the present case is to deny admission to those students who have already got into the professional colleges mentioned in Clause 7(1) of the prospectus and had undergone six months course (first semester). Such a policy, in our opinion, is reasonable and has a nexus to the object sought to be achieved viz., manning all the colleges run by the Government efficiently and in distributing the seats available equitably. If a candidate studying in an engineering college, which course also has got only a limited number of seats and for which also there is competition, and after writing the first semester, is allowed to compete for a seat in the medical college, it will definitely deprive the candidates who have come in for the first time for selection to the medical course. A candidate who has already secured a seat in a professional college stands on a different category and that candidate's chances of becoming a graduate in that professional college is a fait accompali. Considering the limited number of seats in various professional colleges, the Government thought it fit to lay down a policy as mentioned in Clause 7(1) of the prospectus. Further, if a candidate who has got a seat in the engineering college deserts it, for the admission which he gets in another professional college such as medical college, the seat in that particular engineering college will go as a waste. The wisdom of the Government thought it necessary to bring in such a policy, which has a nexus in our opinion for the object to be achieved. By this policy there will be equitable distribution of limited seats available in all the professional colleges manned by the State after determining the merit of the candidates eligible to appear for such a selection.
6. The next contention of Mr. M. Kalyanasundaram, is that the respondents having announced the name of the appellant as a successful candidate in the interview for admission to the medical college in the State of Tamil Nadu, should not have rejected the seat on the ground that Clause 7(1) of the prospectus disqualifies the appellant from getting the seat. To put it differently, Mr. M. Kalyanasundaram submits that the respondents are estopped to put forth such a contention having interviewed and published the results of the appellant herein. We are afraid, we cannot subscribe to this view. The interview card itself states that subject to eligibility for personal interview, the appellant was required to appear before the Selection Committee. Even the results published definitely state that the publication is only provisional. Clause 7(1) of the prospectus, which we have extracted supra, debars the appellant from applying for M.B.B.S. course. In such circumstances, the appellant cannot be allowed to perpetuate the mistake by putting forth the plea of estoppel when there is a clear bar for the appellant to apply even to the M.B.B.S. course. The learned single Judge who dismissed the Writ Petition has also correctly put it that no prejudice has been caused to the appellant by such rejection of seat because, it is not the case that she abandoned the seat secured by her in the engineering college, Coimbatore Further, even today she is undergoing training in the said course. For all these reasons, we are of the view that the there is no question of estoppel as such in the case.
7. In these circumstances, the writ appeal is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.