Bombay HC declines to stay MUHS Exams; medicos disappointed
The decision came while hearing a PIL opposing the MUHS's decision to mandate the physical presence of students at exam centers.
The PIL, filed by some students through advocate Kuldeep Nikam, had sought that the exams be deferred or, the Nashik-based MUHS be directed to hold the exams online in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the petition, the final year BDS exams are scheduled to begin from August 17, while the PG medical exam is slated for August 25.
PTI reported that the bench, however, noted that a bunch of petitions had been filed by medical students seeking different things. While some pleas opposed the exams, some wanted the authorities to conduct them. The court was also informed that the Supreme Court too, was presiding over similar pleas. Besides, the court said staying the exams at the last hour could prove detrimental to the interest of those students who might be prepared for the exams and ready to appear for them physically. The MUHS argued that holding the final year exams was imperative as students would not be able to move to the next level and pursue specialties if they did not take these exams.
It said that many deemed universities had already conducted their final year exams and the PG students in the state's colleges will be at a loss if they didn't complete their tests. "Also, we need these students to graduate. Completing these exams will get the students to graduate and be able to help us fight against coronavirus," MUHS counsel RV Govilkar said. The court also questioned the petitioners saying, "You are doctors. If you don't want to appear for exams physically then how are you going to step out to treat patients?" The court said it did not think it proper to issue a stay order at this stage. The MUHS was at liberty to go ahead with the exams as scheduled. Those who wished to appear for the exams were free to do so, the court said.
"If any of the petitioner students wish to refrain from appearing for the exams, and are able to make a case at the finals stage of hearing for the university to conduct exams for them separately at a later stage, such a direction will be issued," the HC said.
Now that it has been declared that exams will be held as per the previous schedule, the medicos are expressing their concerns on the high court's decision. The president, Maharashtra Students Union (MASU) told Hindusthan Times that "The Ministry of Home Affairs has been very clear that education institutes in Maharashtra will remain shut until the end of this month. How does MUHS plan to hold exams this month."
The parent of a PG medical student told the daily that "Students worried about their health and safety of their family members since they had to sit for examinations along with hundreds of other students. Additionally, most of them have been working 12-14 hour shifts every day for the past few months. This should have been considered by the court before denying them relief from exams this year."