The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea challenging the National Medical Commission (NMC) rule prescribing a maximum of four attempts for a medical student to clear the MBBS first year examination. A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said that medicine is a high status profession and doctors serve the general public at large. The court ruled that fixing the limit of four attempts at the exam was not arbitrary and a candidate was not entitled to take the exam multiple times.
The bench said, “Medicine is a very important profession. A doctor serves the general public at large. The government must have rules and regulations to ensure that only qualified persons are in the medical profession.” The order came on the pleas of some MBBS students who had failed four times in the MBBS first year exam and sought one more chance to appear for the exam.
The petitioners challenged Regulation 7.7 of the ‘Graduate Medical Education Regulations (Amendment), 2019’ on the ground that it could not be made applicable to the students of the past. This regulation was not issued when he had taken admission in the respective medical colleges.
The court noted that the MBBS course consists of four and a half years of teaching/training followed by a mandatory rotating medical internship of one year. The petitioners have not been able to pass even the first year of their MBBS course even after lapse of 3 years. The court said that there are no endless opportunities for the petitioners to complete their degree. He knew that he had to complete his degree in 10 years. The right to give any exam any number of times cannot be given.
Advocate T Singhdeo, appearing for NMC, said the new rule was brought in to ensure that only qualified students could become doctors. The resources of the state are aimed at providing quality medical education. The court agreed with the views of the NMC and said that they are empowered to frame rules in this regard.