Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 11
The Supreme Court on Friday postponed by a month the INI CET Examination, 2021 scheduled to be conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on June 16 for admission to higher/post-graduate medical studies.
“Considering that many of the candidates intending to appear in the exam are in Covid duty and in remote areas, we are of the opinion that June 16 date is arbitrary. We direct the exam to be postponed by one month,” said a Bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee.
The examination can be held anytime after the expiry of one month, it said.
Noting that the situation in Delhi has improved but in other places figures were high, the Bench sought to know from AIIMS if the examination could be postponed by a month.
Advocate Dushyant Parashar, representing AIIMS, opposed postponement of examination.
“Staying the exam will create an unprecedented crisis. One thousand doctors will be recruited by this exam. The petitioners can apply in the next September session exam. If stay is granted there will be no doctors,” Parashar argued.
“These doctors are on Covid duty. How will they appear for exam?” wondered the Bench, which also included Justice MR Shah.
A group of 26 doctors had moved the top court against the holding of INI CET Exam 2021, contending that it went against the assurance regarding postponement of PG Examinations given by the PMO while postponing the NEET PG Examination, 2021 by four months.
The students were assured that they will be given at least one month to prepare for the examination and holding the examination during the pandemic would increase pressure on graduate doctors. They also cited how Class 12 examinations were cancelled.
“Conducting of this examination is resulting in endangering the life of thousands of doctors who are frontline workers in different hospitals which is a clear negation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” they contended.
Highlighting the fact that only 19-day prior notice was given, they submitted that examination centres were in different states or far from the candidates’ place of working requiring them to travel during restrictions due to Covid lockdown.
They said many of the doctors were not fully vaccinated and had not even received the first jab of Covid vaccine.
“In the prevailing circumstances due to Covid, the conducting of this examination is resulting in building up pressure on the graduate doctors from across India to sit for the examination on 16th June, 2021, when under the present circumstances the Board examinations and other professional examinations have been either cancelled or postponed,” the petitioners submitted.