Thursday, Aug 11, 2022
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SC Refuses To Order Another Round Of Counselling For NEET Super-Specialty Courses

A vacation bench of justices A S Bopanna and Vikram Nath did not agree to the submissions of two doctors that one more mop-up round be conducted for admissions in the super-speciality courses as 92 new seats were added later which were not available for them in the first two rounds of counselling.

NEET exams. (Representative image)
NEET exams. (Representative image)

The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain the pleas seeking directions to the Centre and others including the Director-General of Health Services to conduct another mop-up round of counselling for admissions to NEET super-speciality courses for 2021.

A vacation bench of justices A S Bopanna and Vikram Nath did not agree to the submissions of two doctors that one more mop-up round be conducted for admissions in the super-speciality courses as 92 new seats were added later which were not available for them in the first two rounds of counselling.

“At this stage, we see no reason to alter the order (of May 9),” the bench told senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan.

Sankaranarayanan said extra 92 seats were added suddenly in the mop-up round and as a result people with ranks below us were allotted seats that were not available to us.

However, the bench said “at this stage, we do not want to modify it. Sorry.” 

On May 9, the top court had refused to lower the cut-off percentile for admission to the NEET super-speciality courses, saying doctors have to deal with a patient’s life and merit cannot be disregarded.

The bench had said that a decision has been taken not to lower the percentile which is a matter of academic policy and it cannot be faulted.

It had said the reasons put forth by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare cannot be regarded as extraneous and arbitrary as “doctors have to deal with a patient's life and merit cannot be disregarded”.

“Candidates are sufficiently available for undertaking the counselling of vacant seats but the decision to not reduce the percentile is based on not compromising the merit. The question of whether the percentile should be reduced further is a matter of academic policy…in the circumstances, it is not possible for the court to entertain a plea for directing the reduction of the percentile,” it had held.

Some of the doctors, who had wanted the cut-off to be lowered, had submitted that 940 seats are still vacant for the academic year 2021-22. If the cut-off is not lowered, these seats will go to waste at a time when the country needs doctors, they had contended.

The bench had said the court will have to take note that these doctors were not able to obtain the 50 percentile cut-off and they will be handling the patients in super-speciality categories.

“This court will not like to interfere unless there is manifest arbitrariness,” the bench had asserted.

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