Hold fresh registration for candidates who failed to register for NEET PG 2020 due to COVID-19: HC to MP Govt
Indore: In a major relief to candidates who failed to register for NEET PG 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court has directed the State Government to allow fresh registration for such candidates and directed them to hold one last round of counseling in respect of total remaining vacancies.
This came after a bench of Justice S C Sharma and Shailendra Shukla considered a writ petition filed by one of the candidates who submitted that despite holding a good position in the list for counseling, she could not participate in the regular counseling, MOP UP round and the college level counseling due to the pandemic.
The petitioner's submission highlighted that a large number of seats are lying vacant in medical colleges and therefore, the state should be directed to hold counseling again for the vacant seats. Senior Counsel Shri Mathur argued that in a similar case of Ashish Ranjan & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., the supreme court had extended the time for counseling of NEET PG Medical and Dental courses up to 31/08/2020 for Rajasthan State.
Consequently, the petitioner sought to direct the state government to declare the dates for State Counseling as well as the registration process for new eligible candidates including petitioner; to declare the dates for State Counseling as well as the registration process for new eligible candidates including petitioner; and to permit the petitioner to appear in Counselling process and registration process.
On the other hand, the counsel representing the state government contended, "557 candidates got themselves registered for the remaining counseling in the second the window for registration and the petitioner for the reasons best known to her did not register herself. The respondents have also stated that in the State of Madhya Pradesh all the counseling is over and Madhya Pradesh Chikitsa Shiksha Praves Niyam, 2018 as amended on 19/06/2019 does not provide for fresh registration as prayed by the petitioner."
After carefully considering the submissions of both parties, the court instructed the authorities to accept fresh registration if seats are vacant after conducting the fresh round of counseling.
The court observed, "If a concession is made by the State Government, an opportunity should be given to the meritorious candidates who were certainly higher in the merit list and cannot get themselves registered on account of Covid-19 Pandemic."
Clarifying further, the court noted;
"Shri Bhargava has stated before this Court that the Rules do not permit a grant of admission to a candidate in a subsequent round of counseling, in case he has refused admission granted to him earlier and therefore, those candidates who have refused admission earlier will not be entitled to participate again in the counseling conducted now."
"The earlier admissions done will not be disturbed on an account of fresh counseling," the court added.
The court, subsequently held;
"The State Government keeping in view the categoric the undertaking given before this Court shall hold one last round of counseling in respect of total remaining vacancies and the entire process shall be concluded prior to 31/08/2020 keeping in view the deadline fixed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The State Government shall permit all the students, who were not able to get themselves registered on account of Covid-19 Pandemic, to get themselves registered and shall grant a minimum of 24 hours for the purposes of fresh registration."
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