SRINAGAR: The Supreme Court of India has dismissed an appeal filed by J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) against J&K High Court’s verdict, directing it to permit a candidate to join MS General Surgery Course in GMC Jammu.
“Exception from filling certified copy of the impugned judgment (by division bench of the high court) is granted. Heard the counsel for the parties and perused the relevant material. The Special Leave Petition is dismissed,” said a division bench of apex court comprising justice R K Agrawal and Deepak Gupta after hearing advocates Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Nasir Qadri for Shahnawaz Hassan as well as counsel representing the BOPEE.
The High Court division bench of Justices Janak Raj Kotwal and Alok Aradhe had on May 30 directed BOPEE to permit Shahnawaz, a resident of Shopian, to join the post-graduation course.
Shahnawaz completed his MBBS course from ASCOMS in 2012 and was selected for the course of MS General Surgery in GMC, Jammu. He took admission on 31 May 2016 and left for Kashmir to celebrate Eid with his family on 4 July 2016 after taking leave. However, after 9 July 2016, the situation became unstable and curfew was imposed in Kashmir following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani, he could not leave the home town to attend the course.
Eventually, the admission granted to him was cancelled. In October 2016, he filled up the form for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test which was to be held in December 2016. He qualified the NEET held between 6 and 13 December last year. On 14 March this year, the BOPEE declared him ineligible to seek admission in the post-graduation course in view of the SRO 08 of 2005. Being aggrieved by the order, Shahnawaz approached the high court and his plea was dismissed by court’s single bench. Shahnawaz later challenged the verdict before division bench.
Shahnawaz’s counsel said that his client’s admission was cancelled by the BOPEE as he was unable to join the course due to the circumstances beyond his control.
The counsel submitted that this year, Shahnawaz appeared in the NEET and has secured state-wise rank 114. However, the admission was denied to him by the BOPEE by citing SRO 08 of 2005 dated 18-1-2005 which states:”Provided further that the Doctors who are doing Post Graduation/Diploma Courses in any specialty at the Government expenses shall not be eligible to apply for undergoing Post Graduation Courses in any other specialty in the State Medical Institutions till completion of the Post Graduation/Diploma Courses, as the case may be.”
On the other hand, counsel representing the BOPEE maintained that since Shahnawaz has not completed the course, he was not entitled for admission.
From perusal of the Proviso (SRO 08 of 2005), the court said that it was evident that the doctors who are doing post graduation/diploma courses in any specialty at the government expenses shall not be eligible to apply for undergoing post graduation courses in any other specialty in the state medical college till completion of the post graduation/diploma courses, as the case may be.
“In the considered opinion of this Court, the bar contained in the Proviso quoted (supra) applies where the candidate has taken admission in the Course and has not completed the same i.e. when a candidate is pursuing his study in Post Graduation Degree/ Diploma course. In the instant case, the Proviso would not apply to the case of the appellant (Shahnawaz) as at the time when he applied for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test 2017 and was selected for the Course, he was not undergoing any Post graduation/diploma,” the division bench said and directed the BOPEE to permit him to take the admission.