New Delhi, June 12 (ILNS): The Delhi High Court on Friday has dismissed the plea seeking postponement of Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE).
The Single Judge Bench led by Justice Amit Bansal heard the matter at length before rejecting the plea filed by the petitioner.
The petition was filed by the Association of MD Physicians, an association of foreign medical graduates represented by a member of its Governing Body Dr. Ravi Bhushan Gupta, seeking postponement of Foreign Medical Graduate Examination, conducted by NBE, scheduled to be held on 18th June, 2021, on account of Covid situation prevailing in the country.
Counsel for the petitioner Mr. Adit S Pujari submitted that the petitioner is only seeking postponement of the said examination by 4 weeks in lieu of the current pandemic. “I’m going to another city. Having another family member with me who is going to be outside holding onto my valuable is important……. These are our students, they’re not enemies.” He further submitted that the June’2020 examination was also postponed and held in August’2020 on account of Covid pandemic.
Mr. T. Singhdev, Counsel for the Centre, raised the allegation of Forum Shopping, misrepresentation and setting up of completely contradictory cases as a similar petition has been filed by the petitioner before the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 12th May’2021, seeking induction into the Covid workforce on an immediate basis and exemption from taking the FMGE. He informed the Court that the Apex Court had refused to grant interim relief of postponement of the said examination, pursuant to which the petitioner came before the Delhi High Court. He further informed the Court that the percentage of candidates who pass this examination is so poor that each year attempts are being made to somehow get reduction in the qualifying criteria.
Mr. Kirtiman Singh, Standing Counsel for the Centre, submitted that the said exam is conducted twice a year and had been conducted twice during the Covid period, i.e. in August’2020 and in December’2020. He informed the Court in Covid time, the number of examination centres all over India has been increased to 98 as compared to 38 centres in pre-Covid times, and highlighted various safeguards undertaken by the Centre for conducting this examination during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Per contra, Mr. Pujari disputed the contention of Forum Shopping on the ground that the interim relief sought before the Apex Court was to allow the petitioners to be a part of Covid workforce and to provide facilities at par with other similarly placed medical graduates and submitted that the prayers as alleged by Ld. Counsels for the Centre were not even pressed before the Supreme Court. He raised an argument on Article 14 saying- “no other medical student has to travel, but I have to.” He requested that the said exam be postponed by 4 to 6 weeks so that these students could get vaccinated and write the exam.
The plea averred- “Most of our states are going through a lockdown phase. So, it is difficult to travel to reach exam centres. 99% of the students are not vaccinated and many have elderly and COVID patients at home…Third wave of COVID 19 delta variant has already been reported in many cities, even vaccinated young citizens are equally vulnerable to it and hence it will be a wise decision to postpone the exam. It will be safe to conduct exam during August 2021 like last year and by then the number of COVID19 cases will drop and majority will get vaccinated at least first dose.” (ILNS)BG/KR