SC refuses to stay NEET ordinance, says it will create confusion

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 27, 2016 13:37 IST
The apex court said on Friday that there is no need for an interim order on the issue as the Centre has not ‘denied’ NEET but just exempted these seven states for an year.

The Supreme Court refused on Friday to hear petitions challenging the NEET ordinance, saying such a move might create confusion among medical aspirants.

“Lets us not create further confusion on entrance examination and let students appear for test with certain amount of certainty... We will hear plea after the vacation,” a vacation bench of justice PC Pant and justice DY Chandrachud said.

The ordinance had exempted Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab for one year from the ambit of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for medical colleges. It permitted these seven states to enrol students in undergraduate medical courses on basis of exams they conduct.

The apex court said there was no need for an interim order on the issue as the Centre has not ‘denied’ NEET but just exempted these seven states for an year.

The court said it will start hearing the petitions opposing the ordinance from June 30, after the six-week summer vacation ends.

One such petition moved by Indore-based doctor Anand Rai challenged the ordinance, which was signed by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Vaibhav Srivastava, Rai’s advocate, said, the ordinance is “in direct conflict” with the stand taken by the government in the case of NEET as they were “eager to conduct unified, standardised medical entrance examination for the whole of India” and the PIL has sought to know the reasons for the change.

Referring to constitution’s Article 14 guaranteeing equality before the law, the PIL says that the ordinance makes exception for the states having their own separate mechanism for entrance examination for admission to undergraduate medical courses and is “unfair and arbitrary to lakhs and thousands of students in other states who do have to give the common entrance test (NEET)”

The ordinance is aimed at “partially” overturning a Supreme Court order which said the NEET will be held on July 24.

The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that admission to MBBS/BDS courses would be done only through National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and scrapped the entrance tests conducted by the state governments and private medical colleges.

The court had revived NEET after recalling its 2013 order by which the common entrance test was declared unconstitutional.

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