SC Issues Notice on Petitions Filed by Ukraine Returnee Students Seeking Continuation of Medical Education in India

Sowmiya Rajendrakumar

Published on: 26 August, 2022 at 20:37 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a batch of petitions filed seeking the relief of allowing nearly 20,000 Indian students who had to return from Ukraine due to Russian attack to complete their medical education in India.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Vikram Nath issued notice returnable by September 5 on seven writ petitions.

The petitioners relied upon the report submitted by the  Lok Sabha Committee on External Affairs on August 3 in which it recommended the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to consider accommodating the students who returned from Ukraine in Indian private medical colleges as a one-time measure.

In view of the said recommendation, the petitioners sought appropriate decision from Government of India and the National Medical Commission in respect of students from Ukraine.

When the matter was taken, Justice Gupta remarked, “There are 20,000 students. Do India have the capacity to accommodate these students? You are not meritorious students in India”.

Senior Advocate Ravi Sikri, appearing in one of the petitions, pointed out that the students who went to Ukraine had also cleared the NEET test, but could not secure admission in the limited number of government seats.

“We are not going into the merit of the students. The fact is you chose Ukraine, chose not to be in India. It was a voluntary act”, Justice Gupta said

Senior Advocate R Basant,appearing for a group of students from Kerala, submitted that it is an extraordinary situation, as the students who have invested their life and money for medical education had to leave their course midway due to unforeseen events.

“It is not that we are not qualified. If we had money, we could have gone into a private college here”, Basant submitted.

Senior Advocate Manoj Swarup submitted that, “Central Govt has extraordinary powers to do in a situation like this. They have not done it and we have come to court requesting to direct the Govt to do”.

The bench then concluded the hearing and issued notice on the petition returnable on September 5.

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