States can allocate leftover PG seats in medical courses: SC

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday said the state governments across the country can allocate remaining seats in post graduate medical courses in private medical colleges on the basis of all-India NEET merit list.

A vacation bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Indu Malhotra also extended the applicability of its order passed for private unaided medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh to all the states.

“We appreciate the suggestion … that similar dispensation can be followed in other states, if they so desire, while ensuring that the cut-off date of 31st May 2018 is strictly adhered to,” the court said in its order on Friday.

Noting “peculiar situation” that 41.95 per cent of post-graduate medical seats in the private unaided medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh have remained vacant for the year 2018-2019, the court accepted the suggestion by Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) Pinki Anand that the state’s Director General of Medical Education (DGME) be entrusted with the task to nominate candidates on the basis of all-India merit list.

The cut-off date for filling these seats was May 18.

Directing the Uttar Pradesh DGME to take immediate steps in this regard, in right earnest, the court said, “… In the larger public interest, Dr. K.K. Gupta, Director General of Medical Education, … must take up the responsibility of allotting students from the all-India NEET merit list in order of merit to the respective colleges by 31st May 2018.”

“We find this suggestion to be most appropriate and also assuages the grievance of the private medical colleges and opens up new opportunities for the aspiring candidates in the merit list who otherwise could not secure admission in other medical colleges,” the order said.

Observing that the cut-off date of May 31 must be “adhered to in its letter and spirit”, the court order said: “Be it noted, no request for extension of time for any reason whatsoever will be entertained hereafter.”

The court made it clear that no candidate, who is already admitted in post graduate medical course, would be allowed to participate in this admission process as it would have a cascading affect on the seats that would be vacated by them.

“We make it clear that in the guise of recommending names of candidates to private colleges, the candidate who has already secured admission elsewhere cannot be permitted to resign from the college concerned to avail of the opportunity under the stated dispensation,” the court said in its order.

The court also took on record the assurance by the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) that its decision would be “forthwith published” in the official websites of the MCI, Medical Counselling Committee and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The court’s order came on a petition by the Uttar Pradesh Unaided Medical Colleges Welfare Association.

Appearing for the MCI, counsel Gaurav Sharma said the situation had arisen because of high fee being charged by the private medical colleges.

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