The Supreme Court stated on Friday that if one more Special Stray Round of counselling is held now, as requested, it may have an impact on the admission process for NEET-PG-2022, and that the decision of the Union Government and the Medical Counselling Committee not to hold a Special Stray Round of counselling is in the best interests of medical education and public health.
The top court also remarked that “there cannot be any compromise with the merits and/or quality of Medical Education, which may ultimately affect the Public Health.” “The decision of the Union Government and the Medical Counselling Committee not to have Special Stray Round of counselling is in the interest of Medical Education and Public Health, ” the apex court said.
The vacation bench of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose made the statement while rejecting petitions seeking to have a Special Stray Round of counselling to allow candidates to compete for empty seats left after the All India Quota stray vacancy round (AIQ).
“The process of admission and that too in the medical education cannot be endless. It must end at a particular point in time. The time the schedule has to be adhered to, otherwise, ultimately, it may affect the medical education and public health, ” the Court said.
“Apart from the fact that after the closure of the last round of counselling on May 7, 2022, the entire software mechanism has been closed and the security deposit is refunded to the eligible candidates, it is to be noted that the admission process for NEET-PG-2022 has already begun, the results for the NEET-PG-2022 has been announced on 01.06.2022 and as per the time schedule, the counselling process is going to start in July 2022,” the Court said.
“Therefore, if one additional Special Stray Round of counselling is conducted now, as prayed, in that case, it may affect the admission process for NEET-PG-2022.”
The Court found that even after eight to nine rounds of counselling, 1456 seats out of 40,000 remained unoccupied, with more than 1100 of those seats being non-clinical seats that stay unfilled year after year.
The Court ruled that the petitioners are not entitled to a Writ of Mandamus requiring the respondents to conduct a Special Stray Round of counselling to fill the remaining NEET-PG-2021 seats.
“Granting of such relief now may affect the medical education and ultimately the public health,” the Court said and dismissed four separate petitions seeking a similar kind of relief.
The Court further noted that the Union Government/Medical Counselling Committee made the decision not to conduct a second Special Stray Round of counselling, which cannot be considered arbitrary.
One of the petitions requested that the exact number of vacant seats be provided following the completion of the stray vacancy round of AQI and that a Special Stray Round of counselling be held to allow candidates to compete for the vacant seats that remain after the completion of the stray vacancy round of AQI.
Another petition requested that respondents direct respondents to The Medical Consulting Committee and the Union of India to revert the Medical P.G. seats that remained vacant after the AQI stray vacancy round in relation to admissions conducted pursuant to the NEET-PG-2021 examination to State Quotas for allocation through State Mop-Up Rounds. The third and fourth petitions were special leave petitions filed in response to High Court judgments dismissing the writ petitions.
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