In order to quash the recently approved ordinance of the central government allowing separate entrance tests for MBBS and BDS courses in place of NEET, the Supreme Court has referred to another bench through a plea. According to a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice DY Chandrachud, “This plea will go to the bench headed by Justice AR Dave, which is hearing the related matter.”
Indore based Doctor Annand Rai, who happens to be the whistleblower of the Vyapam scam as well, had filed the initial plea in the month of May. The plea has sought quashing of the ordinance passed by the President on 24 May, allowing other state entrance exams along with NEET for MBBS and BDS courses admission. It has also asked for a stay on the operation of the ordinance as an interim relief as well.
Criticizing the government’s stand over a single window examination for medical education, the plea has mentioned that the government has taken a complete U-turn which shows the “malafides and ill intent towards the process of admission of students who shall suffer the most.”
The plea further stated, “The normal democratic legislative process involves the people’s representatives in the two Houses openly enacting a law after full consideration and discussion, an ordinance seeks to circumvent this procedure for it is drafted secretly in government chambers and is promulgated without an open discussion and hence it 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. The present ordinance is a completely contradictory stand by the respondent (centre) within a span of 4 weeks, this is also a belated stage as the examination itself is to be scheduled within the next 8 weeks as per the Schedule given by the Respondent Union itself and the discriminating ordinance further creates confusion amongst students.”
The ordinance passed by the centre would allow state boards to conduct separate medical examinations. The Supreme Court had ordered that the second phase of NEET would take place on 24 July at various examination centres across the country. The ordinance is actually partially overturning a Supreme Court judgment. It allowed the state board students not to mandatorily seat for NEET on 24 July this year. The NEET would only be applicable to central government and privately managed institutes in the country under the ordinance.
The Supreme Court on the other hand had given a judgment saying those who could not attend the AIPMT (NEET Phase I) exam on 1 May, would be given chance to sit for the phase II of NEET on 24 July, which would be the only examination for admission in MBBS and BDS courses across the country. The results of the exam were scheduled to be declared on 17 August and the admission procedure was about to end by 30 September, 2016.