The Supreme Court on Friday made clear that students, who appeared in National Eligibility Entrance Test-1 (NEET) on May 1 for admissions in MBBS and BDS courses, cannot be permitted to re-appear in NEET-2 on July 24.
“Those students who had appeared in NEET Phase-1 shall not be permitted to appear at NEET Phase-2 but the students who could not appear in NEET Phase-1 may appear in NEET Phase-2,” a bench of Justices AR Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarsh Kumar Goel said.
The bench, which hinted that it may consider allowing states conducting their own tests to continue with the admission process for current academic year alone, deferred the decision on this aspect till May 9 when Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar would apprise it about the stand of the Centre.
“The issue with regard to those students who had appeared or who are due to appear in examinations conducted by the states in accordance with their state laws, shall be decided after hearing the solicitor general,” the court said.
“In view of the request made by the solicitor general, hearing is adjourned to May 9, 2016,” the bench said.
In the interim order, the court reiterated its earlier view on private colleges holding their separate entrance tests saying “it is clarified that no examination shall be permitted to be held for admission to MBBS or BDS studies by any private college or association or any private/deemed university.”
During the brief hearing, the Medical Council of India, which had earlier opposed the plea of some states that they be allowed to continue with their entrance tests, however, told the court that they can be permitted “only for this year”.
The solicitor general said that the Centre would be convening a meeting of all the stakeholders in a day or two on issues related to NEET and would apprise the court about the outcome on May 9.
Earlier, the apex court had said that unaided private medical colleges across the country cannot be permitted to go ahead with their pre-scheduled tests for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses.
The apex court had earlier commenced the crucial hearing on the pleas of state governments, private medical colleges and minority institutions like CMC Vellore and Ludhiana seeking nod to hold pre-scheduled separate entrance exams for MBBS and BDS courses.
The states, opposing NEET, alleged that there are marked differences in syllabus for the state entrance tests and the NEET.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the CBSE, had said the first phase of NEET was conducted without any glitch and around 6.5 lakh students took up the test.
The apex court had on April 29, said the entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17 will be held as per the schedule through the two-phased common entrance test NEET on May 1 and July 24.
On April 28, the court had rejected opposition for holding NEET by states, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges, besides minority institutions like CMC, Vellore.
The apex court order had implied that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET and those examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stand scrapped.
It had also revived the government’s December 21, 2010 notification for holding a single common entrance test through NEET with a clarification that any challenge on the issue would directly come before it and no high court can interfere.