Calcutta HC says no to plea seeking stay on MBBS exams
West Bengal: A plea moved by a group of medicos from West Bengal University Of Health Sciences (WBUHS), seeking a stay order for second and third Professional MBBS examinations has been declined by the Calcutta High Court, while directing that the written examinations for two batches of MBBS students will be held from July 14. The exams have started from yesterday.
The petition was filed by 10 medicos in wake of the pandemic. Bikash Bhattacharya, a senior advocate representing the student petitioners, sought a stay on conducting the examinations from Tuesday. The students had submitted that in the pandemic scenario, due to the lack of availability of transportation the student will not be able to reach their respective examination centers.
Many of the medicos belong to different parts of Bengal, in fact, some of them are from outside the state as well. In this situation and during the long lockdown, it will be difficult for the students to make it to the examination center at the right time.
Moreover, there were also problems with bus and train services. They also submitted at the high court to direct the state to initiate a stay order in the examination as the higher education department has also instructed all the institutes to remain closed till July 31st.
Bhattacharyya further substantiated his contention and submitted that the petition to the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, stated that the court had issued a stay on the Ayurveda examinations due to the pandemic and that the court should issue a similar order in case of the medical professional exams as well.
However, opposing the prayer, state Advocate General Kishore Datta submitted that for the second Professional MBBS Examinations, out of a total of 650 examinees, only 45 may be described as unwilling candidates in the sense of being unable to appear for the tests, whereas others are willing to take the examinations.
Out of the 444 total candidates for the third Professional Part-I MBBS Examinations, only 13 have expressed their unwillingness to appear for the tests, the AG said.
He further submitted that adequate arrangements have been made to set up examination centers close to candidates homes, keeping in mind the containment policies as applicable to the present Unlock 2.0 period.
Counsel for the university, Supratik Roy, submitted that the transition from one year of the MBBS course to another is an all-India phenomenon incapable of segregation.
So, the examination ought not to be readily interjected by the court, particularly when a majority of the examinees are willing to appear at conveniently placed examination centers, he said.
Roy, however, added that in the event a student not being able to appear for the examinations for bona fide reasons beyond his or her control, alternate arrangements to hold the test in future for such a student will be put in place.
Subsequently, Justice Subrata Talukdar directed that the "second Professional MBBS Examinations and the third Professional MBBS Part-I Examinations" will be held as per schedule.
The court said that the candidates, who have enrolled themselves for the exams but would not be able to appear for it due to bona fide causes attributable to the present pandemic situation, need to justify their reasons for non-appearance before the WBUHS controller of examinations, reports PTI.
The controller of examinations will be entitled to take a decision on a case by case basis and arrange for a replacement examination for the deserving candidates, the court directed.