“Waiver of Final Year PG Medical Exam Is A Policy Matter”: Supreme Court Rejects Prayer To Waive Final Year Exam In PG Medical Student’s Plea

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 05:50 PM, 11 Jun 2021

The Supreme Court today rejected the prayer for waiver of final year examination in a plea filed by a group of Post Graduate medical resident doctors.

Vacation bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Indra Banerjee while expressing their non inclination for issuance of notice in the prayer for waiver observed that, 

How can patients be in the hands of someone who has not cleared their Post Graduate Exam? We cannot issue a notice for a waiver of the exam. This is a policy decision.

The court has issued notice to the Union of India and National Medical Commission in the other reliefs sought in the plea for promoting the petitioners as senior residents and post doctoral students upon completion of the scheduled tenure of two or three years along with pay scale and other allowances and for constitution of a joint expert committee for examining and recommendation the prayers sought by the final year doctors.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde appeared for final year doctors. 

Senior Advocate Hegde submitted that the doctors were Postgraduate students residents who have done bulk of CoVID duties and that now they are in a situation wherein some states might conduct exams whereas other states might not.

“In the 1962 war with China, I was told that PG would be PG without an exam.”, Senior Advocate Hedge said. 

It was also his contention that the doctors had completed three years of post graduation and now due to CoVID they were stuck in between unless a fresh lot could come through entrance exams. He also said that they had been subjected to continuous internal evaluation over the past three years and that they be declared as qualified doctors on the basis of internal assessment in view of the emergency situation.

“Let the National Medical Commission work out something. This is not only an exceptional circumstance but a calamitous circumstance. Having exams & we have to exam would lead us in a choice where we either will have to abandon the patients or abandon our dreams.”, Senior Advocate Hegde submitted to further substantiate his contention.

Opposing Senior Advocate Hegde’s request, Justice Indira Banerjee said, “Now these are things that there may be a suggestion of arbitrariness. But not holding the exams at all. ?”

To this, Justice MR Shah added, “Mr Hegde, they might have studied, but they have to give the exam.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde: We are people working day in & day out for covid duties. These people will have no time to study. The doctors are wearing PPE kits & are sweating. They need time. 

Justice Indira Banerjee: We know what they are doing. But can we say no exam? Mr Hegde, you know the limits of our jurisdiction. How can we consider waiver of final year exams?

Sr Adv Hegde: We only want you to hint at the NMC to do something. I only press for prayer 2, 3 & 4. All of this would have ramifications on us. There should be some method of putting us back at the stage we were at.

The bench at this juncture upon Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde’s request issued notice and has therefore kept the matter for June 18, 2021. 

Case Title: Shashidhar A & Ors v. Union of India|W.P.(C) No. 631/2021