Published: 09th June 2022
Breaking: Verdict in NEET-PG 2021 special stray round counselling case tomorrow
The MCC stated that the software to conduct the counselling had been closed for the year, so proceeding with an additional stray round would not be possible
The Supreme Court has reserved its judgement in a petition requesting a special stray round of counselling for seats still left vacant after the NEET-PG 2021 counselling. The two-judge Bench comprising Justice MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose concluded the hearing in the matter and informed that they will be delivering a detailed judgement tomorrow, June 10, according to a report by LiveLaw.
Earlier this week, the court had criticised the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) for over 1,456 seats that were still vacant after all rounds of counselling were completed. The court said that this not only created an unfair ground for qualified candidates but also created a dearth of doctors in the healthcare system. However, the MCC, in its affidavit, said that the software deployed for the counselling was now shut down and, therefore, a special round of counselling would not be possible. It is also to be noted that the NEET-PG 2022 score sheets were released this week and counselling for this year is set to begin soon. The MCC remarked that conducting counselling for two years concurrently would not be possible.
What's also to be noted is that the Centre informed the court that the vacant seats are non-clinical seats, in private colleges. This means they are for the post of medical teachers and not doctors and are also expensive. The Centre said that these seats often go vacant annually and even those students who are awarded admission under these seats do not accept them. The National Medical Council (NMC) also mentioned that these were leftover after nine rounds of counselling.
However, Senior Advocate Rachana Srivastava, appearing for the petitioners, said that an RTI enquiry in May revealed that a large number of seats in branches such as surgery, ophthalmology and anaesthesia were still available, according to a report by LiveLaw. The court, on the other hand, seemed unwilling to entertain the matter and said that "there must be a limit to the entire process".
The counselling first began in February this year when the first round of seats was allotted. The Centre said that conducting another round now would create discrepancies and these students would lag behind by six to eight months. The court noted the fact that it has been one and half years since these students gave the NEET-PG exam and that they cannot claim rights to the seats after that period of time. The Bench added that there must be no compromise on education.