The Supreme Court Friday refused to direct the medical universities to cancel or postpone the final year Post Graduate exams on the ground that the examinee-doctors have been engaged in COVID-19 duty. A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M R Shah said it cannot pass any general order to all the universities to not conduct or postpone the final year post graduate medical examination.
The top court noted that the National Medical Council (NMC) has already issued an advisory in April asking the universities in the country to take the COVID situation into consideration while announcing the dates for final year examination. “We have interfered where it was possible like postponing by one month the INI CET examination conducted by AIIMS, New Delhi, where we have found that there was no justification in fixing the date for the examination without giving appropriate time to students to prepare,” the bench said.
It rejected the submission of senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for 29 doctors, who have filed the writ petition that NMC be directed to issue directions to all the universities to give reasonable time to students for preparing for the examination.
“We don’t know what could be the reasonable time for preparing for the examination. How can the court decide the reasonable time? Everyone may have their reasonable time. Let the university decide on the basis of the advisory of NMC as per the pandemic situation prevailing in their area,” the bench said.
The top court said, “In a vast country like India, the pandemic situation cannot be the same. In April-May the situation in Delhi was very bad but now it is hardly 200 cases per day. In Karnataka, however, the situation is not that good even now. Therefore, we cannot pass any general order without hearing the universities”.
Advocate Gaurav Sharma, appearing for NMC said that not all doctors were engaged in COVID duty and the council had issued an advisory in April to all the universities to hold the examination after taking into consideration the COVID situation in their respective areas.
Hegde said that since the doctors were engaged in COVID duty, they were not able to prepare for the examination, which will enable them to become senior resident doctors. At the outset, the bench clarified that it is not allowing the doctors to be promoted without appearing for the examination.