The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed an ordinance the Kerala government had notified in October 2017 regularising the admissions of 180 students, which two official panels and the Medical Council of India had declared illegal, Bar and Bench reported. Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit ruled that the ordinance had constitutional loopholes.

On Wednesday, the state Assembly passed the Kerala Professional Colleges (Regularisation of Admission in Medical Colleges) Bill, 2018, legitimising these admissions, Mint reported. On March 28, the top court had rejected a review petition the state government had filed challenging its decision to uphold the Kerala High Court’s 2016 verdict cancelling the admissions. Both Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja had said last week that the objective of the bill was to save the academic life of innocent students.

The High Court had said that the admission procedure at Kannur Medical College and Karuna Medical College in Palakkad was not transparent, and that they had admitted these 180 students in place of more meritorious ones.

Senior advocate Aryama Sundaram, who represented the colleges, told the bench that it could be assumed that the ordinance ceased to in effect after the Assembly passed the bill. The judges, however, observed that though the Act has been enacted, it cannot come into force until it is notified. The court refused to go into the bill, saying it would keep its focus on the ordinance as the governor may modify the bill.