The Delhi High Court has refused to postpone the AIIMS PG entrance examination which is scheduled on Thursday, saying a large amount of resources have been mobilised to hold the exam for 40,000 students and all the safety measures like social distancing and sanitisation are being taken care of by the authorities in view of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Justice Jayant Nath dismissed a petition filed by various MBBS doctors, who are going to sit for the PG entrance exam, seeking to postpone the examination to July or August as number of COVID 19 positive cases have crossed 2.5 lakhs and it would not be appropriate to hold the test at this crucial point.
Clearly, there are no cogent reasons to postpone the Post Graduate (PG) entrance examination as is sought to be urged now at the very last minute. The respondent (AIIMS) will be bound by all advisories/ guidelines regarding precautions to be taken for these gatherings as prescribed and as per usual medical norms.
"There is no merit in the present petition. The same is dismissed," the court said in an order passed on Tuesday and made available on Wednesday.
The petitioner-doctors said that on May 13, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) issued a notice regarding entrance examination for PG courses. Further, on June 1, AIIMS revised the date of examination from June 5 to June 11 and admit cards were issued to them.
The plea said COVID-19 cases are exploding day-by-day and conducting the exam at this crucial point would be incorrect and claimed that a number of other medical examinations have been postponed by AIIMS to July.
It claimed that there is no need to hold the examination at this point to augment the numbers of doctors available with AIIMS as it can easily appoint non-academic junior residents doctors on contractual basis.
The counsel for AIIMS said the notification for conducting the examination was issued on January 16 and it will be held at 250 different centres and 40,000 students are participating.
The counsel said large amounts of money and resources have been expanded by AIIMS for conducting the examination and assured that all precautions which are prescribed by the governments concerned, including norms of social distancing, would be maintained.
Advocate T Singhdev, appearing for the Medical Council of India, pointed out that after the result of this examination the number of doctors available with the AIIMS would get augmented as all the applicants are already qualified MBBS doctors.
He said given the present pandemic conditions, this would augment the medical capacity of AIIMS which is a very important aspect.
The court said there is merit in the submission of MCI counsel that there is a strong need for the AIIMS to augment its capacity by adding more junior doctors on their rolls in the present scenario.
It noted that the petition is hit by delay and laches and the doctors have approached this court at the very last minute.
"Clearly, after all arrangements have been made and after everything is in order, the petitioners approached this court at the last minute. This would disentitle to the petitioners to any relief. The petition is liable to be dismissed on grounds of delay and laches," it said.
The court noted that in the notification issued by AIIMS on June 1, there is a clear stipulation that all advisories/guidelines of Government of India regarding social distance and sanitisation are to be followed at the exam centres and hence safety measures are being taken.