The Supreme Court on Friday ruled out passing a sweeping order to defer the final exams of the postgraduate medical courses in universities across the country. A Bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M.R. Shah was hearing petitions by PG medical students who said preparing for the exams amidst COVID-19 duties was complicated. They sought more time to study for their exams. But the court said it could not possibly be asked to pass a general order to postpone exams of which dates had not been announced as yet.
The Bench said the National Medical Commission would keep in mind the COVID-19 situation and doctors working round the clock during the pandemic. The court also noted that the universities have not been made parties in the case. "How do we pass a general order when hundreds of universities are involved?" the court asked.
Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for the students, said his clients would be made to choose between their COVID duties and taking time off to study for their exams.
He submitted this was something doctors should not be compelled to do during these dire times for public health. He said the court should intervene on behalf of the doctors to ensure that they would be given a "reasonable time" to prepare for the exams.
The Bench said the court had however intervened on behalf of the students wherever possible.