Two days after the Centre promulgated an ordinance to exempt states from National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical and dental colleges for academic year 2016-17, Vyapam scam whistle blower Anand Rai challenged its validity in the Supreme Court.
In his petition, Madhya Pradesh-based Rai alleged the ordinance was aimed at circumventing the top court’s order to hold a single-window test for medical and dental admissions this year.
Rai’s petition was likely to be mentioned before a vacation bench on Friday. He wanted an early hearing of his plea because the second NEET was fixed for July 24.
Though the top court is yet to determine the validity of Medical Council of India’s notification for NEET, it had ordered holding the examination to give relief to students who are forced to appear for multiple tests for different medical colleges across the country.
The Centre’s May 24 ordinance exempted States from NEET and allowed them to conduct their own undergraduate medical entrance examinations for academic year 2016-17.
However, Rai contended the ordinance was an attempt to bypass Parliamentary procedures of enacting a law for the purpose. He said the Ordinance was contrary to the Centre’s own earlier stand in the SC that it was willing to conduct NEET.
Phase one of NEET was held on May 1 and the next phase is scheduled for July 24. Nearly 6.5 lakh students took the exam on May 1. Health Ministry sources said seven states will take medical exams as per NEET while in six other states around 4 lakh students have already taken the examinations.
The ordinance, he said, was drafted secretly in Government chambers and promulgated without an open discussion.
“Hence it is becomes even more pertinent that the Ordinance making power is not invoked lightly but only when absolutely necessary to do so, and the situation cannot be otherwise met effectively,” Rai said.
He attacked the government for its-flip flop and alleged the Centre abused its unfettered discretion. The ordinance reflected lack of application of mind because the sole intention was to upset the SC order, he submitted.