HC refuses direct authority to extend internship deadline to NEET-PG eligibility

 The Delhi High Court refused to order the authorities to extend the deadline for completion of the compulsory one-year internship in order to allow a candidate to take part in NEET-PG examination on September 11. It stated that it is unable to assume the responsibility of administering the exam and determining the schedule.

A petition to have the exam conducting authorities extend the deadline for internship completion from September 30 to Oct 31 was rejected by the high court.

A doctor filed the petition after he completed his MBBS at a Bareilly medical college and wished to pursue a post-graduate degree.

His one-year rotational internship will end on October 25.

Justice Prateek Jalan stated that the relief sought by petitioner would create an insecure and cumbersome environment as there will always exist candidates who are not cut off by one hair.

If the high court agreed to the petitioner's arguments, then the grievances filed by those who have completed their internships soon after October 31 would be heard.

Advocate T Singhdev representing National Medical Commission (NMC) opposed the petition, arguing that the writ courts should not interfere with the cutoff date set by the examination conducting authorities. This cut-off date was determined keeping all relevant factors in consideration.

Counsel also stated that the petitioner would not be eligible to take the NEET-PG examination 2021 in normal course due to the fact that he did not complete the internship by the usual eligibility date of March 31.

Although the court expressed sympathy for the petitioner's predicament, the court stated that it could not grant relief in this petition.

According to the report, the authorities had already extended the deadline for the completion of the internship due to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused delays in the NEET-PG examination.

"The writ courts cannot assume the responsibility of the scheduling and examination. According to the respondents' decisions, there is an inherent randomness in fixing a cut-off time that may cause hardship for a candidate or group of candidates in any given case. It said that this per se does NOT mean that the fixation is random.

Justice Jalan also mentioned a Madras High Court judgement dealing with the same examination that is at issue here, NEET-PG2021. He added, "I am respectfully in agreement with the Madras High Court's view, which is also consistent and consistent with the binding precedents this court. The writ petition and the pending application are therefore dismissed.

The court observed that the petitioner in Madras High Court's case will finish his internship by October 4, 2021. This is five days less than the deadline for this petitioner, who was due to complete it by 25 days.

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