The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) brought by three physicians seeking to overturn rule 9(3) of the postgraduate Medical Education (Amendment) Regulations 2018, which requires a minimum of 50th percentile grades for admission to postgraduate courses.
The bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramoniam Prasad on Friday while dismissing the petition said, “the question of quashing the statutory provision in the peculiar circumstances of the case does not arise merely because a large number of seats are lying vacant.”
The court also observed that lowering medical education standards has the potential to wreak havoc in society at large due to the risk that the practise of medicine entails, as it involves the matter of life and death, and thus it would be unconscionable for this court to interfere in the standards duly and diligently set by the governing authority.
“This court therefore cannot issue a mandamus directing the respondents to fill up the seats, especially when the persons concerned have not obtained the minimum percentile as this court is dealing with admissions to postgraduate courses in various medical colleges and there can’t be any compromise on the issue of quality of doctors/ specialists as it involves the risk of human lives. Resultantly, no case for interference is made out in the matter,” the Court said in its judgement.
The court noted that the petitioners’ fundamental complaint is that the percentile method mandated under Regulation 9(3) of the revised Regulation is a flawed system since it results in a large number of seats remaining vacant despite the availability of candidates who are efficient and willing.
The petitioners’ major point is that because of the percentile system, which prevents candidates from reaching the 50th percentile, a huge number of seats are not being filled, which is a national loss because it prevents doctors from earning postgraduate credentials.
The petitioners further said that due to the respondents’ flawed system, last-minute applications are being made to fill vacant seats, and that this procedure leads to unethical tactics being used by schools in providing admission whenever any such flexibility for lowering the percentile exists.
The court also ruled that there is a severe scarcity of doctors who are experts in Pathology, Microbiology, and Anesthesiology, and that a substantial number of seats are unfilled due to a poor percentile system; hence, the alteration to the Regulations deserves to be found extra vires.