Kerala Governor P Sathasivam on Saturday refused to approve a bill the state Assembly had passed on Wednesday to regularise the admissions of 180 students to two medical colleges, PTI reported. The bill, passed with support from both the ruling coalition and the Opposition, intended to replace an ordinance the government had notified in October 2017.

While refusing to approve the bill, Sathasivam took into consideration the Supreme Court’s observations on the order last week, unidentified officials told PTI. He also took into consideration the dissent notes from government secretaries, The New Indian Express reported.

The Kerala Professional Colleges (Regularisation of Admission in Medical Colleges) Bill, 2018, legitimises the admissions of 150 students to Kannur Medical College and 30 students to Karuna Medical College in Palakkad.

In a verdict in 2016, the Kerala High Court had cancelled the admissions, and said that the admission procedure at the two colleges was not transparent. The court said the colleges had admitted the 180 students instead of more meritorious ones. The Supreme Court later upheld the High Court’s verdict, and also rejected the state government’s review petition on March 28.

On April 5, the court stayed the ordinance from coming into operation, citing constitutional loopholes. The court did not comment on the bill – which the Assembly had passed by then – as the governor had yet to approve it.

The government had said last week that the objective of the bill was to save the academic lives of innocent students. Two official panels and the Medical Council of India had earlier declared the ordinance illegal.