New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday orally observed that there should be a limit for every exercise and admissions made after 1.5 years might compromise medical education and health of the people, while reserving order on pleas seeking a special stray round of counselling for NEET-PG 2021, to fill vacant seats.
The top court will pronounce its order on Friday.
A vacation bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose said there must be a limit on the number of rounds of counselling to fill vacant seats. “For many years, the seats have remained vacant & it’s not for the very first time…There has to be a limit for every exercise, and seats may remain vacant even after 10 rounds,” said Justice Shah.
The bench further added that after 8 or 9 rounds of counselling, the seats are still vacant and students cannot claim rights after 1.5 years. “Can it be said now that after 1.5 years, you will be given admission and compromise the health of people,” the bench orally remarked.
Noting that it’s a three-year course, the bench added, “There cannot be any compromise with education… Suppose you’re hungry for 6 months, can you eat everything in 1 day? No…education is like that.”
The Centre’s counsel submitted that those who qualified NEET PG-2021 have already started attending classes since February, and if vacant seats are filled up now then they would be behind the Class for over six months. He further pointed out that teachers would also have to teach the students who will come in NEET PG 2022.
The Centre’s counsel clarified that out of 1,456 vacant seats, majority are in non-clinical or teaching, and nobody wants to go into the teaching area, and also nobody came for the deposits. “These are seats taken, but admission not taken,” added Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh, representing the Centre.
He added that around 1,100 seats are in private colleges and they are far more expensive, and nobody wants to participate on these seats.
A counsel representing National Medical Council submitted that counselling for NEET-PG 2021 was closed after 9 rounds of counselling — 4 rounds of state counselling, 4 rounds of AIQ (All India Quota) counselling and another round was conducted for AIQ round.
After hearing detailed arguments in the matter, the top court reserved its order on pleas — doctors who took NEET PG 2021 — seeking an extra round of counselling for vacant seats available.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has informed the Supreme Court that four rounds of online counselling for NEET-PG-21 have been concluded and 1,456 seats have remained vacant, as the software stands closed. The DGHS said since the software is closed further rounds could not be conducted to fill up seats.
The DGHS, in an affidavit, submitted that the software, which was used for online counselling 2021 is closed and refund of security deposit for participating in PG counselling 2021 is also initiated. It further added that the petitioner has made the prayer at a belated stage and it may impact the whole process for upcoming counselling session, NEET-PG 2022, and it is also difficult to run concurrently counselling for two academic sessions.