'Postponement of any examination is replete with serious consequences': Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking postponement of NEET PG 2022

  • s.n.thyagarajann
  • 12:46 PM, 13 May 2022

A Supreme Court bench of Justices Chandrachud and Surya Kant today dismissed a plea seeking postponement of NEET PG 2022. The bench noted that postponement of any examination is replete with serious consequences and the needs of patients, their care and treatment are paramount.

When the matter came up for hearing, Rakesh Khanna, Sr. Adv, argued that the petitioners before the court are doctors who are participating in the counselling process of 2021 and they have not been able to apply for the 2022 exam as there was uncertainty regarding the counselling for the 2021 exam. He argued that these students are not in the proper frame of mind to appear in the exams. 

Anand Grover, Sr. Adv, also appearing for the petitioners, argued that these students worked hard during the pandemic and that the petition actually represents 50,000 doctors out of the 2.06 lakh doctors who appeared. 

Aishwarya Bhati, Additional Solicitor General, argued that this delay actually impacts patients' care. She said, "When one set of students come before the court, it seems like State is on the other side. State is representing the interests of a large number of doctors. The state is trying to balance. Experts have taken a call to conduct the examination on May 21, 2022."

She further argued that such a postponement will create a cascading effect for admissions in super speciality courses as well. 

Court, on hearing the submissions of the parties, noted, "All preparations for NEET PG 2023 have already been made. While considering the rival submission, it must be noted that the academic session has already been delayed by 4 months. The original schedule for 2022 exam had to be revised because of the pandemic."

Court further noted that the petitioners and similarly placed doctors have participated in 2021 NEET and that they were not barred from registering for NEET PG 2022. "The registration for the ensuing year has been closed in March and that as many as 2.06 lakhs have registered," it stated. 

Therefore, Court held, "Any delay in conducting examination will lead to fewer number of resident doctors. Against this backdrop, the request to postpone NEET PG 2022 cannot be entertained as it will seriously impact patients' care and careers of those doctors who have already registered."

Accordingly, Court dismissed the matter remarking that any postponement is replete with consequences. 

The bench was hearing a plea seeking postponement of NEET PG 2022 examinations. The plea was filed on the ground that NEET-PG 2022 aspirants should be given a fair opportunity of participation in the examination and that some aspirants of the 2022 are the participants of the NEET PG 2021 process. The petitioners had claimed that under these circumstances, thousands of aspirants will become a victim of the system. 

Case title: Dr. Dinesh Reddy Vs UOI