The Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed a plea preferred by a group of NEET-PG candidates challenging their allotment of examination centres at Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh on short notice. The exam is scheduled to be conducted tomorrow.
While finding that it would be improper to hamper with the exam or the exam centres a day before the exam, Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan also acknowledged the inconvenience caused to the candidates owing to the same.
"It is true that there is inconvenience to the petitioners because of the sudden notice about the examination centres. But the examination is scheduled on 21.05.2022. All the arrangements were made and about 2,65,000 candidates are appearing for this examination. On the previous day of the examination, it will not be proper on the part of this Court to postpone the examination or to interfere with the examination centres which is now alloted to the petitioners."
Advocates C. Dheeraj Rajan and Anand Kalyanakrishnan appearing for the petitioners narrated their grievance in detail. They argued that the NEET-PG examination is scheduled for tomorrow but their Admit cards were issued only on 14.05.2022.
As per Clause 7.5 of the Information Bulletin, if no examination centre is available in the State, a nearby state will be allotted. Clause 7.5 also says that the candidates opting for other options shall be informed about their testing city in advance.
Accordingly, the petitioners were allotted examination centres at Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad. However, due to the short notice, they argued that they were not in a position to book tickets to travel to the said examination centres.
On the contrary, Standing Counsel P. Sanjay appearing for the National Board of Examination in Medical Sciences submitted that most of the petitioners were adjusted in Kerala itself when the examination was scheduled in March 2022.
However, when the examination was postponed, the examination centres which were initially allotted were not available, which led to them being given centres in Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh.
The Standing counsel also submitted that it is an All-India level examination where about 2,65,000 candidates are appearing while discouraging any order in the case.
ASGI Manu S and Standing Counsel Nirmal S for National Testing Agency also appeared in the matter.
The court considered the contentions of the petitioners and the respondents and the relevant clauses of the Information Bulletin. Justice Kunhikrishnan noted that although inconvenient for the petitioners, the Court could not postpone the exam or interfere with the centres on the eve of the exam.
Therefore, finding no merit in the petition, it was dismissed.
Case Title: Aswin Das & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 235