The Supreme Court of India came down heavily upon the Medical Counselling Committee on Wednesday, stating that leaving seats in NEET-PG vacant not only puts aspirants into difficulty but also leads to dearth of qualified doctors. Approximately 1,456 seats have remained vacant from May onwards.
A Bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose was hearing a plea seeking a Special Stray Round of counselling to allow the candidates to participate for vacant seats available after the conduct of a stray vacant round of All India Quota. The petition was preferred by the doctors who appeared in NEET-PG 2021 and participated in rounds 1 and 2 of All India Quota (AIQ) Counselling and State Quota Counselling which was followed by All India Mop-Up and State Mop-Up Rounds.
"Even if the single course has remained vacant, it must not remain unfilled. It's your duty to see that they don't remain vacated. You're playing with the future of students," the Bench told counsel appearing for MCC at the outset.
The Bench stated that in May, when the authorities got to know that the seats were vacant, they should have conducted a mop up round.
"What would you get in leaving the seat vacant when we are in need of doctors?...Where are we leading? Why is there no streamline? And stress less the education system. Do you know the stress level of the students & the parents?"
The Bench also expressed its reservation over addition of seats in the middle of counselling process. It orally remarked,
"Why during the midst of the counselling, you're adding the seats? There must be a cut off that as on date there are number of seats, admissions are given. This increase the chance of corruption if the seats are added."
Stating that the ASG is unavailable today and that an affidavit in response explaining all the circumstances will be placed on record, the counsel for MCC sought one day's time.
While the Bench has permitted the authority to file its affidavit during the course of the day, in the same vein it remarked, "These are very important matters related to rights of the students in medical matters. Union govt is not run by 1 ASG."
In its order, the Bench recorded as follows:
"Counsel for MCC & UOI has stated that ASG is appearing & he has some personal difficulty today. When question was asked to him whether any seats had remained vacant, he had stated that approximately 1,456 seats have remained vacant from May onwards. Counsel for the MCC & UOI prays for time to file the affidavit pointing out the position of the vacant seats & why they were not filled in. Let the affidavit be filed during the course of the day. The copy be given to the counsel for the petitioners. Put up tomorrow."
The petitioners were represented through Dubey Law Chambers and the petition has been filed through AOR Milind Kumar.
Case Title: Astha Goel v MCC