The Delhi High Court has ruled that Medical Council of India cannot deny permanent registration to a qualified medical practitioner just because he/she missed 50 per cent marks in Class XII exams by a fraction of less than .5 per cent.
In other words, the score of anyone who secured more than 49.5 % average in Physics, Chemistry and Biology in Class XII should be rounded off to 50%.
Precedent for many
The biggest beneficiaries of the order would be lakhs of aspiring doctors who failed to join undergraduate medical courses in India after narrowly missing 50% marks in +2, went abroad and qualified to become a medical practitioner.
But only those students would be eligible who went abroad before March 15, 2002, as after that to regulate the grant of registration to those who completed degree abroad, the MCI made it mandatory for all students to first obtain an eligibility certificate from it before proceeding abroad to study medicine. For it 50% marks is a must and the round-off rule is not applicable.
“This court is of the view that the petitioner is right in contending that 49.7% marks obtained by him should be considered equivalent to 50% by applying the principle of rounding off,” ruled Justice S. Muralidhar, giving relief to Ravinder Singh and imposing a cost of Rs 5,000 on the MCI.
Many such cases are pending in various courts across the country and the Supreme Court.
Singh, who missed the cut off by .3% flew to Russia, where he completed MD (Physician) course (equivalent to MBBS), in November 2000.
Singh’s lawyer Manoj Goel said on coming back to India, his client was denied permanent registration as medical practitioner as he secured only 49.7%.
But MCI told the court that “rounding off” was not permissible and minimum qualifying marks of 50% was mandatory as otherwise it could “dilute the standards”.
Citing a 2005 Supreme Court ruling in a judge appointment quota case, the judge said, “The rule of rounding off is based on logic and common sense. If part is one half or more, its value shall be increased to one and if part is less than half then its value shall be ignored.”