HC: Sympathy can’t replace constitutional consciousness
The judge observed that the court could not give directions contrary to a well-structured mechanism for medical admission, that has been fine-tuned and monitored by the Supreme Court.
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court directed the National Board of Examination (NBE) to consider the representation of a NEET applicant, who failed to secure a medical seat due to an error she made in the online application.
However, even as he expressed sympathy for the petitioner’s situation, Justice N Seshasayee noted that sympathy could not replace constitutional consciousness which the court was expected to possess and exhibit.
The court was disposing of a petition seeking to direct the NBE to permit the petitioner, Pratheeksha, to participate in the NEET PG 2023 counselling.
The petitioner belongs to the Other Backward Category (OBC), and secured 269 marks in NEET 2023-24. While registering online for counseling, she erroneously chose general category. Due to this inadvertent error, she lost her seat, Pratheeksha said.
Her counsel I Syed Sibghatulla said an inadvertent error in mentioning the correct category in the online registration for counselling should not cost her future, and said the NBE could consider her case if there are any seats remaining vacant after the process concludes.
The judge observed that the court could not give directions contrary to a well-structured mechanism for medical admission, that has been fine-tuned and monitored by the Supreme Court. The court could not get tempted when riding the wheels of justice, Justice Seshasayee added.
In the present case, the court could only suggest that, subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, “a window may be opened for all those candidates who might have missed an opportunity due to certain inadvertent faults such as the one occasioned to the petitioner”, he said.
By directing the board to consider the petitioner’s request after obtaining approval from the apex court, the court was sticking within bounds of law while also summoning its sense of equity and justice, observed the judge. Disposing of the plea, Justice Seshasayee also wished the petitioner good luck.