A division Bench of Supreme Court comprising of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari has refused to pass any directions for the present year in petition seeking single counselling for filling up seats in the Post Graduate Medical Courses leading to Degrees and Diplomas and the seats in DNB (Diplomate of National Board) Courses, while hoping that the same would be done from next year.
A Petition was filed before Supreme Court seeking directions to the Government to conduct “single counselling” for filling up seats in the Post Graduate Medical Courses leading to Degrees and Diplomas and the seats in DNB (Diplomate of National Board) Courses.
After the petitioners appeared in the exam, the counselling to get a seat was undertaken by the Medical Counselling Committee, and going by their ranks, the petitioners could not get Degree courses or courses of their choice. Their grievance was that it is only after the regular seats of Post Graduate Courses leading to Degree and Diploma are exhausted that the counselling for DNB courses is undertaken; and those who have secured any seat in courses leading to Degrees and Diplomas are disentitled to lay any claim for DNB courses.
According to the petitioners, they are being deprived of their choice of allotment as the counselling for DNB seats is not being conducted by the Medical Counselling Committee. The All India quota consists of various kinds of seats including payment seats and free seats. Suppose the petitioners select a payment seat or a discipline about which they are not keen, they cannot opt out and wait for counselling by the National Board of Examinations for DNB seats. They may or may not be allotted seat in DNB courses. If the counselling is conducted through a single stream for the DNB courses also, the candidates will be free to opt for either a payment seat of a seat in DNB courses. Now as they are not sure of getting a seat in DNB, they cannot forfeit their seat in the MD and MS courses through the same are not of their choices.
The Court agreed with submissions of the National Board of Examination as well and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stating that the counselling and consequential process of admission is now at an advanced stage and if submissions made by the petitioners are made at this stage, it would result in complete disturbance of the process of admission for the present year.
The Court stated that since the petitioners have approached the Court at a stage where the entire process has been undertaken and many candidates have been allocated various courses in the Counselling, it would not be appropriate to pass any direction for the present year. However, going by the assertions made in the response filed by the Medical Council of India, the Court observed that a common counselling or single online counselling in the coming years would definitely take care of any similar grievance as the National Board of Examination, which is also the designated authority to conduct NEET- PG, 2020 and has accepted that it is agreeable “in principle” to conduct common counselling from the next year.
The Court while refusing to pass any directions for the present year hoped that the authorities will be able to have common counselling for DNB PG seats along with all Post Graduate seats leading to Degrees and Diplomas for coming years starting with NEET- PG 2021 Examination.
Read the judgement here;11011_2020_31_1501_22183_Judgement_26-May-2020
-India Legal Bureau