NEET PG : Delhi HC directs NBE to give admission to DNB Radio-diagnosis candidate denied during counselling
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has granted relief to the medico, who was denied DNB admission by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) citing that he had not carried the requisite documents in original during the certificate verification process.
The bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher directed NBE to allot admission to the doctor in DNB Radio Diagnosis at Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai.
The petitioner in the case had qualified NEET PG 2019. He was called for the first round of counselling under the All India Quota. Resultantly, in March 2019, he was allocated a seat in MD (General Medicine) in the Government Medical College, Amritsar. The petitioner, however, availed of the free exit route and hence became entitled to be invited for the second round of counselling.
During the Round 2 counselling session, the medico was allotted a seat in MD (General Medicine) in Shri MP Shah Medical College, Jamnagar, Gujarat. He took admission with the medical college and as required, deposited his original certificates.
However, even though he had taken admission in Jamnagar medical college, he was called for the third round of counselling on 23.05.2019 by the NBE for DNB Post MBBS course. The list published by the NBE showed that the medico was allocated a seat in DNB Radio Diagnosis in Breach Candy Hospital.
Since the petitioner was spoiled for choices, he gave up his seat in Jamnagar medical college by dispatching a resignation letter. On the date fixed for counselling by the NBE, he appeared before the concerned committee but he was denied admission as during the certificate verification process it was found that he had not carried the requisite certificates in original.
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In his petition, the medico claimed that during the certificate verification process, he had presented photocopies of the requisite documents along with an affidavit wherein he had averred that the originals stood deposited with the MP Shah medical college in which he had obtained admission and that he had applied for having them returned to him. The petitioner asserted that he had conveyed to the concerned committee that the originals certificates would be returned to him shortly and that he would submit the same as soon as they were received from the medical college.
However, it was conveyed by the NBE to the medico that his seat had been forfeited and thereafter forwarded to the next round of counselling. According to the medico, on the very same day, he sent out an email to the NBE wherein he highlighted the fact that he had placed before the concerned committee photocopies of requisite certificates. Pertinently, there was no response to this communication by the NBE. The NBE, however, forwarded the medico's seat in DNB (Radio Diagnosis) to the final/mop-up round of counselling. Aggrieved the medico moved the HC.
The NBE maintained that it denied admission to the medico to the DNB (Post MBBS) course on the ground that he had not produced original certificates during the counselling, the other ground taken to defend its action was pivoted on the directions issued by the Supreme Court's earlier judgment.
It was observed by the bench that the NBE, in the counter- affidavit, to get over the possible impediment as to why the petitioner was called for counselling if he was otherwise not eligible has averred that in the e-mail dated 27.05.2019 sent by the medico wherein he had indicated that he was not able to deposit the fee amounting to Rs.1,25,000 due to a technical glitch experienced by him while opening the web-page, did not advert to the fact that he had already got admission with MP shah medical college.
In this behalf, the NBE, therefore, asserted that because it was unaware of the fact that the petitioner had obtained admission in the medical college, it issued an e-mail dated 28.05.2019 whereby the petitioner was asked to deposit a demand draft favouring the NBE towards its first-year course fee and also report for biometric and certificate verification at the venue indicated on its website.
During the hearing, the counsel on behalf of the NBE reiterated the necessity of producing the original certificates at the time of counselling. The argument relied upon paragraph 7.3 of the Handbook for Admission to DNB Broad Specialty Courses including Direct 6 Years Courses (Post MBBS) January 2019, Admission Session.
"Candidates who have failed to produce their original certificate and failed to Join the allotted institute or declared not eligible as per the Information Bulletin of respective DNB course by the allotted institutes/hospital/NBE shall be filtered out from the counselling process. The seat allotted to them will be taken back for further allotment and their candidature will be cancelled."
Based on the aforesaid provision, it was submitted that the production of original certificates at the time of counselling was mandatory and since the petitioner had not produced the certificates, he has rightly been denied admission.
Insofar as the other objection was concerned which is that since the petitioner had been allotted a seat in the second round of counselling, albeit, under All India Quota and had taken admission, thereafter, with the MP shah medical college and, hence, was not eligible for admission to DNB (Post MBBS) course, reliance was placed on paragraph 7.4 of the Handbook.
"7.4 Final Round (In-person)
All the registered candidates; who have not been allotted with any seat during the first, second and third round of counselling, will be considered for Final Round of counselling."
After going through the contentions, the bench observed that for not having in his possession on the date of counselling the original MBBS degree certificate, he would have obtained admission with the NBE.
The NBE could not have denied admission to the petitioner only on the ground that on the date of verification, he did not have in his possession, physically, the original certificates, the court noted
Further, the court noted that paragraph 7.3 of the Handbook, which was relied upon by the NBE in support of its decision because the original certificate was not produced on the date of the counselling does not come to the aide of the NBE.
A plain reading of the said clause would show that it is not stipulated that the original certificates had to be produced on the date of the counselling. The clause simply states that the candidates who failed to produce their original certificates and failed to join the allotted institute or are declared ineligible as per the Information Bulletin of the respective DNB course shall be filtered out from the counselling process.
Further on the clause 7.4, the bench observed
the provisions of paragraph 7.4 of the Handbook would apply to all those candidates who were registered but had not been allotted any seat in the first, second and third round of counselling. It was only these candidates who were considered in the final round of counselling. The petitioner, in fact, was called for the third round of counselling. Therefore, paragraph 7.4 of the handbook, in my view, would have no application.
Reaching its decision, the Delhi HC stated that the NBE wrongly declined admission to the petitioner. The petitioner, undoubtedly, meets the basic eligibility criteria. The petitioner has, in his possession, the original degree certificate.
There is a seat available in Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai in Radio Diagnosis specialty in the DNB (Post MBBS) course. The petitioner has come to grief due to the NBE not recognizing the fact that the requirement for a candidate to have met the eligibility criteria as stipulated on the date of the counselling as against proof of the same are not the same thing.
The bench then directed NBE to allot a seat to the medico in DNB (Radio Diagnosis) in Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra.