The plea seeking a Special Stray Round of Counselling for NEET-PG 2021 has been dismissed by the Supreme Court, to allow the candidates to participate for vacant seats available after the conduct of a stray vacant round of AIQ.
(Astha Goel v. MCC)
A division bench consisting of Justice MR Shah and Justice Aniruddha Bose observed,
"When a conscious decision has been taken by the Union of India and the Medical Council of India for not conducting any special stray rounds of counselling, it cannot be considered arbitrary."
It also added,
"Quality of medical education cannot be compromised which affects public health. Petitioners are not entitled to relief. Granting the relief now may affect medical Education and health."
The petition was mainly favoured by the doctors who appeared in NEET-PG 2021 and participated in rounds 1 and 2 of All India Quota Counselling and State Quota Counselling, which were followed by All India Mop-Up and State Mop-Up Rounds.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court reserved its order on the plea.
It was observed by the bench that there must be a limit to the entire process and if the seats remain vacant even after 8 or 9 rounds of counselling, then students cannot claim rights after 1.5 years. The judge added, "There cannot be any compromise with education. On that we're very sure. Suppose you're hungry for 6 months, can you eat everything in 1 day? NO. Education is like that. It’s a 3 year course."
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Medical Counselling Committee, stating that leaving 1456 seats in NEET-PG vacant not only puts aspirants into difficulty but also leads to a dearth of qualified doctors.
Adjourning the matter for Thursday, the vacation bench had permitted the authority to file its affidavit during the course of the day, explaining the position of the vacant seats and why they were not filled.
In an affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court, MCC informed that the software which was being used for conducting NEET-PG 2021 online counselling was now closed and hence, it could not possibly fill 1,456 vacant seats by conducting a Special Stray Round of counselling. It was further submitted that the counselling process for two academic sessions, 2021 as well as 2022, could not run concurrently. The petitioners were represented by Dubey Law Chambers, and the petition has been filed through AOR Milind Kumar.