FMGE December 2020: Delhi HC stays order providing one extra mark on wrong answer key matter
New Delhi: Issuing an ex parte ad interim stay, the Delhi High Court has recently stayed the operation and implementation of an earlier order, where the HC single judge bench had granted one mark extra to the candidates of the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE), December 2020.
This comes after the National Board of Examinations (NBE) challenged the earlier order of the HC single judge bench. While considering NBE's plea, the HC division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has stayed the implementation of the earlier order till September 17.
Medical Dialogues had previously reported that finding the answer key provided by NBE in the December 2020 FMGE examination for one question as wrong, the Delhi HC had directed NBE to treat the disputed question as deleted from the FMGE (December 2020), and award one extra mark to those candidates who were assessed as having answered it incorrectly.
The single-judge bench of the High Court comprising of Justice Prateek Jalan had clarified that "In the event, any candidate thus achieves the passing score of 150 marks, they would be treated as having passed the FMGE (December 2020)."
Further, taking note of the extreme position taken by NBE of not being ready to accept any fault, the High Court bench had observed in the July 5 order, "It is indeed surprising that an academic body like the NBE should take such an extreme position. This attitude displays an unfortunate determination to persist in an error, rather than an open-minded approach, which should inform all academic enterprise."
However, NBE approached the HC Division bench challenging the earlier order awarding one extra mark to FMGE December 2020 candidates, adds Live Law.
During the hearing of the case on Friday, the counsel appearing for NBE, Senior Advocate Maninder Singh referred to recent judgments of the Apex Court to defend his case.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, after hearing the submissions of NBE, the bench opined that the NBE has a balance of convience in its favour. Thus, the HC division bench has issued an interim stay on the impugned order till September 17.
The disputed question, which was earlier challenged by the Association of MD Physicians was-
"Sample Registration System gives information about all except:
a. Birth rate
b. Death rate
c. Maternal Mortality rate
d. Infant mortality rate"
NBE had insisted that the correct answer to the disputed question would be option (c), i.e. Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR). However, the association in its petition argued that the disputed question was technically incorrect, as the Sample Registration System (SRS) in fact, gives information about all the four parameters mentioned viz. Birth Rate (BR), Death Rate (DR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).
After perusing the materials submitted by the petitioners, the HC single judge bench had observed, "It is impossible to accept the NBE's contention that the SRS does not give information about MMR, when that very information has been used in the discharge of the Government's solemn responsibility to Parliament, which is central to the functioning of our democracy," and had directed NBE to award one extra mark to those candidates who were assessed as having answered it incorrectly.
The matter would be next heard on September 17.