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NEET-MDS| 'Ultimately Course Will Have To Begin' : Supreme Court Dismisses Plea To Extend Internship Deadline

Shruti Kakkar
25 March 2022 7:44 AM GMT
NEET-MDS| Ultimately Course Will Have To Begin : Supreme Court Dismisses Plea To Extend Internship Deadline
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"Ultimately the course will have to begin", the Supreme Court observed while dismissing the NEET MDS 2022 aspirants seeking issuance of fresh notification for extending the period of compulsory internship for NEET MDS.The writ in which relief was also sought to postpone the exam and relax the eligibility criteria for candidates appearing in the National Eligibility Entrance Test – Master...

"Ultimately the course will have to begin", the Supreme Court observed while dismissing the NEET MDS 2022 aspirants seeking issuance of fresh notification for extending the period of compulsory internship for NEET MDS.

The writ in which relief was also sought to postpone the exam and relax the eligibility criteria for candidates appearing in the National Eligibility Entrance Test – Master of Dental Surgery Entrance Examination 2022 bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant.

When the matter was called for hearing, Justice DY Chandrachud the presiding judge of the bench remarked that the exam was earlier scheduled for March 12, 2022 which was later postponed for May, 2022 and that the period of compulsory internship was also extended from March 31, 2022 to July 31, 2022. 

"Now they've extended the cut of date, you want to further extend the date? Now you're saying extend it further to October that means the medical course will not begin. Because some people will be on this side and some people will be on the other side?" remarked Justice Chandrachud.

Referring to the order in the plea by Shivam Satyarthee & Ors. Versus Union of India & Ors, wherein the Court had observed that such matters are within the "policy domain," the judge further said, "Your petition is hit by our previous order that it's completely within the policy domain. Ultimately the courses will have to begin. We'll dismiss it."

Accordingly the petition was dismissed.

Senior Advocate Sudhir Nandrajog appeared for the petitioners.

Details Of The Plea

It was argued in the plea that the undergraduate dental programme leading to the Bachelors of Dental Surgery ["BDS] Degree, comprises of 4 (four)Academic Years with 240 teaching days in each academic year, plus one year paid rotatory Internship in a Dental College and that the degree is granted only after the completion of one year Compulsory internship.

The petitioners further argued that clause 4.5 of the information bulletin dated January 4, 2022 said that the candidates who are likely to complete the 12 month compulsory rotatory internship by March 31, 2022 shall not be eligible the the exam unless they complete the same and obtain provisional or permanent registration on or before 31st March 2022 or the candidate produces a certificate from the head of Institution that he / she will be completing the said internship by 31st March 2022.

Clause 4.5 further stated that any requests for appearing in NEET–MDS Exam, 2022 from candidates completing internship after 31st March, 2022 or having qualifications that are not recognized as per the Dentists Act, 1948 shall be summarily rejected.

The petitioners further submitted that in light of Top Court's order in Shivam Satyarthee & Ors. Versus Union of India & Ors., the Competent Authority decided to extend the date of completion of compulsory rotating internship for eligibility for admission to MDS courses at 31st July, 2022 instead of 31st March, 2022 by issuing notification dated February 17, 2022 and also issued a Notice dated March 1, 2022 postponing the exam to May 2, 2022.

Against this backdrop the petitioners stated that extending the internship period upto July 31st, 2022 is totally incongruent since various colleges declared their result as late in the month of September/October, 2021.

It was argued that this resulted in students of the said colleges being automatically ineligible to appear in NEET MDS Exam, 2022 as in their cases the completion date of the compulsory internship would eventually be in the month of September/ October, 2022.

"The action of MoHFW, NBEMS and DCI relating to extended cut-off date of internship is prejudicial to the interests of a large number of students whose university examinations were delayed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic beyond July, 2021, thus, making it impossible for students to meet the eligibility criteria of completing their compulsory internship despite extension for the said period of internship upto 31st July 2022 for NEET – MDS Exam 2022," the plea states.

The petitioners were represented by Dubey Law Associates and the plea was filed by Advocate Charu Mathur.

Case Title: Sanjana Boro & Ors v Union of India & Ors| W.P.(C) No. 192/2022

Click Here To Read/Download Order 


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