The Supreme Court today reserved its order on a batch of petitions seeking a special stray round of counselling to fill the 1,456 seats in NEET-PG-21 which have remained vacant after the conduct of a stray round of counselling for All India Quota.

A Bench of Justice M R Shah and Justice Aniruddha Bose said that it would pronounce its order on Friday after the counsel for the parties completed their arguments.

Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh, appearing for the Centre, submitted that classes have already started in February and now holding classes for another six to eight months is not feasible.

He said the NEET 2022 teaching will also be compromised if further rounds of counselling are conducted.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) had informed the top court on Wednesday that it has concluded four rounds of online counselling for NEET-PG-21 and it cannot fill 1,456 seats by conducting a special stray round of counselling as the software stands closed.

The batch of petitions has been filed by doctors who appeared in NEET-PG 2021-22 examination and participated in Rounds 1 and 2 of the All India Quota (AIQ) Counselling and State Quota Counselling which was followed by All India Mop-Up and State Mop-Up Rounds and concluded on May 7 by Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) post the All India Stray Vacancy Round.

One of the petitions filed by Dr Astha Goel and others through Advocate Tanvi Dubey said on April 18, vide a notification, the MCC declared that there existed 323 vacant seats in UG Counselling and in order to make sure that these precious seats do not go to waste, they would be conducting a Special Stray Round for the same.

The plea said it is pertinent to mention here that this is a practice that has been followed by the MCC previously wherein Special Stray Rounds for UG and PG have been conducted in order to ensure that seats don't go vacant. However, this wasn't followed this year.

With PTI inputs