The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea for postponement of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) post graduate (PG) exam 2022, which is scheduled to be held on May 21..A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said that it cannot issue directions to postpone the exam which will cause hardships to lakhs of candidates who have registered and prepared for the same. "NEET PG will take place on May 21. How can we postpone this? Just to avoid some element of hardship to your client, should we cause hardship to all other candidates who are ready? How can we?" the Bench asked. It proceeded to reject the petition after hearing the parties. "It must be borne in mind that there is a large body of students and needs of patient care which cannot be ignored. Over 2 lakh students have registered and now this postponement will create chaos and uncertainty," the Court said in its order. The Court further noted that any delay in conducting exam will lead to fewer number of resident doctors in hospitals."This plea cannot be entertained since it will seriously impact availability of medical care and have cascading impact on patient care and affect the doctors who have already registered. These are matters of policy domain unless proven that it is without application of mind or manifestly arbitrary. The interest of patient care will remain paramount in these conflicting interests. Thus, this petition cannot be entertained and is thus dismissed," the Court ordered. .The petition filed before the top court sought postponement of NEET PG 2022 exam primarily due to the delay in the NEET 2021 counselling which would clash with the NEET 2022 PG exam.The petitioners grievance was that since they were part of NEET 2021 counselling, they could not participate in the NEET PG 2022 exam, thereby violating their fundamental rights.The petitioner, therefore, sought deferment of NEET PG 2022 by 8 to 10 weeks.Senior Advocate Rakesh Kumar Khanna, appearing for the petitioners, highlighted the delay in NEET 2021 counselling and how that has inconvenienced many candidates. The bench sought to know from the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) as to how many candidates have registered for NEET 2022. The ASG said that more than 2 lakh candidates have registered. "Imagine 2.6 lakh have been studying," the bench remarked."Majority want a postponement, they have written to the Prime Minister," Khanna responded. The Supreme Court maintained that if the government takes the call to postpone the exam, it would be fine, but the top court cannot pass such directions. "If the government takes a call that is fine, but we cannot interfere..NEET 2022 is an independent exam. It has no relation to 2021," the bench remarked. Khanna said that many candidates could not register for NEET 2022."How does it actually prejudice the States if its deferred for a month or two. It (postponement) does not affect 2.6 lakh candidates but only 50,000" he said..Senior Counsel P Wilson also sought postponement of exam citing infrastructure crunch that might ensue if students of NEET 2021 and 2022 get admitted around the same time. "There was no time limit prescribed for 2022. The clash again occurs now. Everyone has forgotten about infrastructural facilities available in college. when 2021 and 2022 students study together where is the infrastructure," he contended."There will be total chaos and confusion as there is no increase in faculty etc. heavens will not fall down if this is postponed," he maintained..The Court, however, refused to accept the plea.It noted that the petitioners were not barred from registering for NEET PG 2022. "While considering the rival submissions it must be noted at the outset that the academic session is already delayed by 4 months as per earlier SC order. The schedule of NEET PG 2022 had to be revised due to exigency posed by the pandemic. Petitioners and similarly placed doctors had participated in NEET PG 2021 counselling. They were not barred from registering in NEET PG 2022. Registration was closed on march 25 with 2.6 lakhs registrations by doctors. It must be borne in mind that there is a large body of students and needs of patient care which cannot be ignored," the Court underscored while dismissing the plea.