THE BOMBAY High Court on Saturday refused to stay examinations in a physical mode for final-year undergraduate medical courses, to be conducted by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences from September 8.
The MUHS, through a circular issued on August 21, had announced the timetable for conducting examinations of undergraduate medical courses, including MBBS, BDS, BAMS, and nursing courses, in physical mode between September 8 and October 3.
A public interest litigation (PIL), filed by one Namrata Karade and eight other students, through advocates Kunal Kumbhat and Sanket Bhandarkar, challenged the MUHS circular and sought its withdrawal. The PIL said nearly 10,000 students across the state were to appear for the examinations. Due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic and the grim situation in Maharashtra, the petitioners said, it would be difficult for the students to appear in the exams physically and sought an urgent stay.
A division bench of Justices A A Sayed and S P Tavade, which heard the PIL through video-conference on Saturday, referred to the Supreme Court’s August 17 ruling that dismissed a plea seeking to defer NEET and JEE-Main examinations. The top court, in its order, had stated that “though there is a pandemic situation, but ultimately life has to go on and the career of the students cannot be put on peril for long and full academic year cannot be wasted”.
In view of this, the bench led by Justice Sayed noted that the petitioners had approached the high court at the “eleventh hour”. “Hence, we are not inclined to grant any ad-interim relief of staying the examination. The prayer for stay of the examination is rejected,” the court said and posted the PIL for further hearing on September 17.
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