NEET | Can't Allow Students To Participate In 2022 Counselling For MBBS Admissions Based On 2019 Results : Supreme Court
A Division Bench of the Supreme Court set aside an interim order dated July 14, 2022, passed by the High Court of Calcutta, whereby it permitted/allowed medical students to participate in counselling sessions for the admission process to commence in August 2022 for the admission to the MBBS course in West Bengal University of Health Sciences based upon the results of the NEET...
A Division Bench of the Supreme Court set aside an interim order dated July 14, 2022, passed by the High Court of Calcutta, whereby it permitted/allowed medical students to participate in counselling sessions for the admission process to commence in August 2022 for the admission to the MBBS course in West Bengal University of Health Sciences based upon the results of the NEET 2019.
Imperatively, the Bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah set aside the impugned order on two grounds. The Court held that 2019 NEET results could not have been the basis for allowing counseling in the year 2022 for admission to MBBS courses. Moreover, the Court also opined that an interim order could not have granted such direction.
"...2019 NEET results could not have been basis for allowing counselling in the year 2022 for admission to MBBS courses", the Court said.
The case revolved around the three petitioners who appeared in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET (UG)-2019. The petitioners were ranked at 314773, 325058 and 664781 respectively with a percentile of 77.5, 76.9 and 52.68 respectively. All three petitioners applied for the EWS eligibility certificate in the prescribed format from the appropriate authority on July 22, 2019.
Before the Single-Judge Bench of the High Court, it was submitted that when the three petitioners, who are based in Jalpaiguri, approached the concerned authorities for appearing in Round 2 Counseling of the selection process in West Bengal University of Health Sciences, the petitioners were informed that they were not eligible to appear for Round 2 since the EWS certificates had not been issued to them. The EWS certificates finally reached the petitioners on August 8, 2019, by which time Round 2 counseling had already been completed.
The High Court thereby opined that it is unfortunate since the examination in the petitioners have secured high marks and have got good ranking in an All India Examination with a corresponding ranking for the State of West Bengal. Considering the inequities of the facts of this case, the Court deemed it fit to direct the Registrar-in-charge, the West Bengal University of Health Sciences, to allow the petitioners to appear in the MOP UP counseling for the WB UG MBBS State Quota Seats 2019, based on the EWS Certificates which have been issued to the petitioners by the concerned authorities on August 8, 2019.
Aggrieved by the same, the Registrar-in-charge of the University preferred an appeal against the said order before the Two-Judge Bench of the High Court. While hearing the said appeal, the High Court took note of the petitioner’s submission that the persons ranking below the petitioners have been granted admission. In view of the same, the Court ordered:
“This Court is, therefore, prima facie of the view that the petitioner should be at least to allowed to participate in the counseling session for the admission process that shall commence in August 2022 for the admission to the MBBS course in the West Bengal University of Health Sciences.”
Status Quo of the Writ Petition
It is worth mentioning that, in order to put a quietus to this litigation, the Supreme Court was of the view that the Single Judge issuing such directions in the year 2019, which the Division Bench stayed, resulted into the impugned order in 2022, needs to be closed. Therefore, the Court allowed the appeal of the Registrar-in-Charge and dismissed the writ petition.
Case Title: The Registrar-In-Charge & Ors. V. Medhasree Goswami & Ors, Civil Appeal No.6084 Of 2023
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 825