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Supreme Court adjourns plea by MBBS graduate, seeking direction to NBE to let her appear in Final Theory Examination

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The Supreme Court adjourned to March 15, a petition filed by an MBBS Graduate, seeking direction to the National Board of Examination, to let her appear in the Final Theory Examination.

A Bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Vikram Nath adjourned the petition, which alleged that NBE was not permitting the petitioner to appear for Final Theory examination, as she failed to complete her 90-day training due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Advocate Vikas Upadhayay appeared on behalf of the petitioner and sought permission from the Bench to mention the matter as soon as the result of the Final Theory Examination comes out, as the result of the petitioner would be placed before the Bench in a sealed envelope.

Advocate Gaurav Sharma, appearing on behalf of the Board, submitted that the result was likely to be out around March 15 and further requested to adjourn the matter till then.

ASG Aishwarya Bhati appeared on behalf of the Union of India and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

The petitioner stated that a major portion of these post MBBS trainees were registered with the National Board of Examination in Medical Sciences, New Delhi and were consequently pursuing residency with various medical institutions, which were registered with that Board.

Earlier, the court permitted the petitioner to appear provisionally for the ensuing theory examination and stated that the results of the petitioners shall be placed before this Court in a sealed cover.

When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in India, the National Board of Examinations, following the footsteps of the Medical Council of India with respect to MS/MD trainees, issued a Notice on January 18, 2021, declaring the extension of training of the candidates registered with that Board for a period of three months.

It was directed in clause 6 of the said notice that the extension of training being done under special circumstances would not interfere with the eligibility of the candidates.

However, when the petitioner sought permission from the said board for appearing in the said examination, which is to be held from December 16 to 19, 2021, the board has denied it by declaring her to be ineligible as she will not be able to complete her course tenure, arbitrarily and unlawfully calculated by the Board to include the 90 days of Covid-19 extension along with her regular course tenure, before the prescribed cut-off date of June 30.

The petitioner said that the devastating pandemic would go down in history because of the immense suffering and pain that it has caused to billions of people and the millions of lives that have been lost.

“However, during this great human crisis, the noble services of two sections of our workforce rose to the occasion and alleviated human suffering to a large extent. These were the medical professionals and the policing forces around the world,” it noted.

The Petitioner further prayed:-

  • To allow the petitioner in the Final Theory examination, in the view of the mandate of the information bulletin for December, 2021.
  • To take action against the National Board of Examination for not allowing the petitioner to appear in the Final theory Examination for the 2021 session.

The matter is to be listed on March 15, subject to the declaration of Final Theory Examination.

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