Updated: May 14, 2022 8:51:19 am
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed petitions seeking postponement of the 2022 NEET-Post Graduate examinations, saying any change to the May 21 date “will create chaos and uncertainty and deficiency of doctors in hospitals”.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant said the registration for NEET-PG 2022 was closed on March 25 and more than 2 lakh doctors who registered for the exam will be put to prejudice if it is further postponed.
“Reliefs sought in these proceedings cannot be granted. Petitions are, therefore, dismissed,” the bench said.
Although the petitioners contended that the postponement will not cause any prejudice to anyone, the court said it must be borne in mind that there are students who have registered.
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Turning down the prayer, the court said the request cannot be entertained as it would also affect patient care and doctors’ careers. “The academic schedule has already been delayed by over four months… Any delay in conducting the exam will result in fewer number of resident doctors. Only two sets of doctors are there this year. The request cannot be granted.”
The court said the time schedule must be adhered to as the country gets back on the rails after what happened on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bench was hearing petitions by MBBS doctors who appeared in NEET PG 2021 exams and also participated in the ongoing counselling process for 2021-2022.
They prayed the court to postpone the exams by eight weeks and also to allow them to register by extending the date of registration.
Opposing the plea to postpone, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, said 2.06 lakh doctors have registered for the exams and “what we are seeking to espouse is the rights of these doctors”. She said any delay may have a cascading effect on other years, other courses, super speciality courses as well as patient care.
Bhati said the country had suffered due to the pandemic, “and we are trying to put the schedule back in track”.
She said deliberations were held at the ministry-level and it was decided on May 10 that in public interest and in the interest of medical education, the exam should not be postponed.
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