The Supreme Court deferred the hearing on a batch petition brought by Indian students who were evacuated from Ukraine and seeking permission to continue their medical education in India on September 5, 2022, Monday.
A bench led by Justice Hemant Gupta scheduled the hearing for September 15, 2022. After Solicitor General Tushar Mehta claimed that he needed to obtain direction on the issue, the case was deferred.
The request was made by evacuated students who asked for the court's immediate indulgence in light of the unprecedented situation that has arisen in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine conflict crisis, which has severely hampered their studies. The tragic events in Ukraine have forced students to flee, and as a result, their education has come to a halt.
One of the petitions, submitted by counsel Ashwarya Sinha, stated that the education of around 14,000 vacated Indian students has come to a halt, putting their careers in jeopardy and rendering their fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Indian Constitution illusory.
The attorney also stated that the evacuated students, including the Petitioners herein, are suffering from enormous mental anguish because their entire career is in limbo and their education has come to a halt since February 2022, with no foreseeable return of peace in the war-torn country.
As a result, the petitioners have also requested that the National Medical Commission (NMC) issue an appropriate direction under Section 45 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, directing the NMC to develop guidelines and SOPs for the migration of Indian medical students evacuated from Ukraine to Indian Medical Colleges as a one-time measure during the equivalent academic year.
The petition also requested that the Centre issue necessary directions under Section 46 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019; and that the respondents provide adequate infrastructural/academic and financial support for the continuation of medical education of the evacuated Indian students from Ukraine.
The appeal further sought directions for preserving the interests of evacuated students and their migration to Indian Medical Colleges by exercising jurisdiction provided under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution in light of the unique situation caused by the current war in Ukraine.
The court had also inquired about the strategy developed by the Government of India in response to the Court's earlier directives to frame a scheme for students who could not complete international medical education due to the pandemic during the last hearing on the case. Students who completed their degrees but were unable to do internships in foreign nations such as China were notified that they could do so here. However, not all Ukrainian students are in their final year of study.
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Source: Live Law, The Print