SC to hear petitions on NEET verdict

Last Updated 24 October 2013, 20:08 IST

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the review petitions filed against its verdict quashing an all-India common entrance test for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in colleges across the country.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice H L Dattu, while deciding to go into the merit of the petitions filed by the Centre, Medical Council of India (MCI) and an NGO, issued notice to private, minority colleges and others who challenged the decision to hold the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The brief order, taken up on Wednesday, was released on Thursday.

In a 2:1 verdict, the apex court on July 18 quashed notifications issued by the MCI and Dental Council of India (DCI) for conducting NEET for admission to MBBS, BDS and post-graduate courses.

The majority judgment was authored by the then chief justice Altamas Kabir, who pronounced it on the last day of his office. Justice Vikramjit Sen agreed with him.

In a dissenting judgment, Justice A R Dave said the NEET would prove to be a “boon” to students aspiring to join the medical profession.

In a petition seeking review of the verdict, the Centre contended that medical education required adherence to definite standards of merit which could be ensured through a single window entrance test.

It also pointed out that the apex court was wrong in holding that the NEET would violate the rights of religious and linguistic minorities to run their educational institutions.

The judgment landed in some controversy after it was leaked on a website a day before its pronouncement in the open court, prompting Justice Kabir to issue a press statement denying any wrong-doing.

The review petition is heard by the bench which had passed the verdict. Since Justice Kabir is retired, the new bench will be headed by Justice Dattu. Justices Sen and Dave will continue as members.

(Published 24 October 2013, 20:08 IST)

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