Won’t hesitate to move court on NEET: Tamil Nadu

Won’t hesitate to move court on NEET: Tamil Nadu

On the backfoot on NEET issue, Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said it would write to the Union government seeking reasons for rejecting two bills that sought exemption from the medical entrance exam and would not even hesitate to move the judiciary in this regard. File photo

On the backfoot on NEET issue, Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said it would write to the Union government seeking reasons for rejecting two bills that sought exemption from the medical entrance exam and would not even hesitate to move the judiciary in this regard.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Law Minister C Ve Shanmugham were at pains to explain to the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the government didn’t mislead the people on the sensitive issue that has claimed the lives of two young students who could not get into medical colleges despite scoring distinction in plus-2 exams.

They insisted that the Centre hasn’t specified any reason for rejecting the bills that were passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2017 seeking exemption for students from the state from appearing for NEET. Political parties and activists say NEET is discriminatory against rural students who don’t have access to coaching centres and high-quality education as they are pitted against those from CBSE and other streams in the entrance exam.

"Since no reason was assigned by the Centre for returning the bills, if the state government re-enacts them in the same old form, it may also meet the same fate. We will ask the Centre to give reasons. If they don’t, we will not even hesitate to move the court to seek the reasons for the rejection,” Shanmugham said in response to a volley of questions raised by Leader of Opposition M K Stalin.

The Law Minister said the state government had sent 12 letters to the Centre between October 2017 and July 2019, asking the reasons for withholding assent. He also maintained that the government has no hesitation or fear in getting the legislations passed in the Assembly again.

In his response, Palaniswami said there was no information on why the bills were returned though the Centre submitted in the Madras High Court that these were sent back. He added that the government considered NEET as an important issue and there would absolutely be no problem in even convening a special session to pass the bills again.

Tamil Nadu Government had egg on its face on Tuesday when the Union Government informed the Madras High Court on Tuesday that the state administration was told about the rejection of two bills seeking exemption from the national level entrance exam way back in September 2017.

The disclosure by the Centre, which came through submission by Raju S Vaidya, deputy secretary to the home ministry before the Madras High Court, embarrassed the AIADMK Government, which had been maintaining that the aforesaid bills passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly were still under consideration of the Union government.