SC refuses to stay NEET PG Counselling 2022
New Delhi: While considering a plea alleging serious discrepancies in the NEET-PG 2022 test, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to put a stay on the Counselling Process for the exam, which is likely to commence from September 1, 2022.In the plea, the MBBS graduates challenged the decision of the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBE) of not releasing the answer keys...
New Delhi: While considering a plea alleging serious discrepancies in the NEET-PG 2022 test, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to put a stay on the Counselling Process for the exam, which is likely to commence from September 1, 2022.
In the plea, the MBBS graduates challenged the decision of the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBE) of not releasing the answer keys and question paper for the exam.
When the counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Ms. Avani Bansal informed the top court bench about the pending court proceedings regarding a similar plea regarding the non-access to answer keys and question paper for NEET-PG 2021, the bench tagged the petitions.
Therefore, the bench comprising of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna listed the matter for final hearing on August 25, 2022.
The doctors have also requested the court to set up a High Power Committee for examining the instances of alleged discrepancies in the scores so that fairness and transparency in the evaluation mechanism could be ensured. Apart from this, the plea further requested the court for framing guidelines for publishing question papers and answer keys after the examination.
It also sought direction upon NBE for uploading individual OMR answer sheets in login account along with the question paper and the corresponding answer key, immediately after the examination and provide the candidates with an answer key and question paper for the exam, especially when they file an RTI application.
Filed by MBBS graduates registered under the State Medical Council, the plea expressed their grievance that even though there are serious mismatches in their NEET-PG 2022 scores, NBE did not grant them the opportunity for re-evaluation.
It was claimed by the petitioners that they were shocked to notice the huge disparity between the actual score and the expected score. However, when a candidate approached NBE and raised their grievances in this regard, it clearly stated that they would not provide for revaluation, rechecking or retotaling of responses.
At this outset, the plea categorically mentioned the fact that other prestigious examinations in India including NEET-UG offers the candidates with an option for challenging the answer keys.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, referring to the order in the case of CBSE And Anr. v. Aditya Bandhopadhyay And Ors., the plea argued that the answer sheets are information that come under the purview of Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005. Therefore, the doctors claimed that they are being deprived of their constitutional and legal right to information by such a decision of the NBE.
It also pointed out that NBE was not exempted from providing information under Section 24 of the RTI Act. In this context, the plea referred to Clauses 9.7 and 10.4 of the NEET-PG Information Bulletin which mentioned that the contents of the exam are proprietary of NBE and therefore, no re-evaluation, re-checking or re-totaling is permitted.
Therefore, the petition argued that conducting of an examination does not constitute as a private activity and therefore checking and evaluation of answer sheets by an examiner and the marks assigned by them have nothing to do with the issue of privacy and therefore NBE would not attract Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
Approaching the top court bench the petitioners urged the court to issue directions to NBE for releasing the question paper and answer key for NEET-PG 2022, give the candidates and opportunity to re-evaluate their papers, declare Clause 9.7 and 10.4 unconstitutional, and finally allow the candidates to challenge the answer keys.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that official sources had informed PTI that the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), under the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), would commence NEET PG 2022 counselling on September 1, 2022. The result of the NEET PG 2022 written examination was announced on June 1
However, this news got confirmed recently by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC). While notifying the candidates regarding online generation of PwD certificates by the NEET Disability Certification Centers, MCC mentioned in the recent notice dated August 8 that, "...candidates who have registered themselves as PwD on the NBE website and want to avail the benefit of a PwD reservation should get the disability certificate issued from any one of the designated NEET Disability Certification Centres (as per the list attached below) through online mode only before the start of Round-1 of PG Counselling 2022 which is likely to start from 1st September 2022."
Referring to the news report indicating the commencement of NEET-PG 2022 counselling from September 1, the counsel for the petitioner requested the court to provide an interim relief and stay the counselling. However, the top court bench refused granting such interim relief and opined that such a decision would have far reaching consequences.
To view the order, click on the link below.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.