Supreme Court asks Centre to extend time to arrive at counselling date for NEET-MDS course

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central Government to move an application, seeking an extension of time for the Committee to complete the exercise within a week on a petition filed by dental surgeons, aggrieved by the delay in the announcement of counselling date for NEET-MDS (Masters Course).

The Divisional Bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R. Shah said, “These doctors are waiting and you aren’t doing anything, what are you saying, you are in process.”

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the High Court has stated that a committee is formed by the Union, and let it decide the problems with respect to reservations for Other Backward Class candidates.

Mr Singh further mentioned that the Union of India is saying that the reservation issue is pending in the Supreme Court, but SC has not stayed the Madras judgement. Senior Advocate KM Nataraja, appearing for the Central Government, submitted, “We are not against the reservation…The issue was for OBC all India quota.”

Referring to the three-Judge bench verdict, Justice Chandrachud said, “It said the committee will complete the exercise so that the Supreme Court can order in 2021. You must move the three-Judge bench in that pending WP.”

To which, Mr Natarajan said that they have already moved an early hearing application. Mr Singh, however, contended that this is unfair to OBC and general candidates also. “By an order dated July 27, 2020, a Divisional Bench of the Madras High Court issued directions involving issues pertaining to OBC reservation against all India quota in courses for the medical and dental facility.

“The High Court had directed for constitution of the committee by the Union government through the health services and to finalise its recommendations in consultation with all the states, including Tamil Nadu. The verdict was challenged by the state of Tamil Nadu in CA 3518 of 2020 for implementing directions for OBC for 2020-21,” Mr Singh added.

The senior advocate also mentioned that a divisional bench of this court in 2020 noted that the final disposal be taken by committee for the next academic year 2020-21, this appeal is still pending. 

The bench noted, “Mr Singh has submitted the terms of October 26, 2020 order of this court, which is required to be finalised. From 2021-22, the appellant has already appeared for entrance examination, for which the results were declared on…It is necessary that counselling be conducted so that students can get into respected courses.” The Court directed the Central government to move an application within a week.

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