The Delhi High Court has dismissed a batch of petitions moved by MBBS students challenging regulations of the National Medical Commission (NMC).
Petitioner students sought direction to setting aside of Regulation 7.7 of Regulations on Graduate Medical Education (Amendment), 2019 by NMC as being ultra vires to Article 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India. The Division Bench headed by Delhi Chief Justice Satish Chander Sharma also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad in an order passed on November 17, 2022 said that the Petitioners have failed to dislodge the presumption of constitutionality existing in favour of the Impugned Regulation.
Furthermore, the Petitioners do not have any vested right to secure a medical
degree, hence, the Impugned Regulation can be applied retrospectively.
It has also been determined that the Petitioners do not have a legitimate expectation to either get a degree or get another attempt.
Even if it is determined that such a legitimate expectation exists, which according to this Court does not exist, in the absence of an abuse of power, and keeping in line with the policy of the State, this Court finds no reason to interfere with the Impugned Regulation on the basis of this ground, said the court.
In light of the above, the Court does not find any occasion to interfere with the Impugned Regulations. Accordingly, the Writ Petitions are dismissed, court ordered.
The bench also noted, it is evident that this Court does not have wide ranging powers to review policies under the ground of legitimate expectation. In the case at hand, as already discussed, the Petitioners did not have a legitimate expectation to get infinite opportunities to qualify in the medical examination.
It cannot be said that the number of attempts that can be taken by a candidate to clear an examination cannot be curbed. There cannot be a right to attempt any examination any number of times.
The petitioner students sought direction to the respondents to restore and confirm the MBBS admission of them (Petitioners) at their respective medical colleges in terms of earlier policy i.e. Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997.
They also sought direction to the respondents to grant a mercy chance in the form of an additional examination attempt to the Petitioners.
Plea stated that the impugned Regulation is discriminatory in retrospective implementation i.e. having different yardsticks for students admitted in different years. The Regulations of Graduate Medical Education, 1997 from clause 2 to 14 contained in Chapters I to V and the Appendices and Schedules appended therein have been included as Part I of the Regulation.
These provisions shall be the governing Regulations with respect to batches admitted in MBBS courses until academic year 2018-19. Part II contains new Chapters have been added to the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 that shall be the governmg Regulations with respect to batches admitted in MBBS course from academic year 2019-20 onwards.
The retrospective implementation of Impugned Regulations is in gross violation of principles of natural justice and the action of Respondents in preventing the students from appearing in examination amount to misuse of process of law. Due to non-availability of any remedy against the action of the Respondents, the Petitioner is suffering continuous mental harassment, plea stated.