As the Supreme Court quashed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on Thursday pulling off the arrangement for common entrance exam both for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses in government and private institutions, medical colleges in Nagpur along with rest of the cities would undergo admission process as per old guidelines. The apex court, however, made it clear that its verdict will not affect the admissions which have already taken place.
A three-judge bench by a 2:1 verdict held that it was beyond the powers of the Medical Council of India (MCI) to make such an arrangement.
The majority verdict by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramajit Sen said that MCI is not empowered to prescribe all India medical entrance tests. The bench said that the MCI notification was in violation of Articles 19, 25, 26, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
Justice A R Dave said he did not share the view of Chief Justice Kabir and Justice Sen.
“Holding of National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) is legal, practical and is the need of the society. Hence, I have dissented,” Justice Dave said.
The court’s decision came on 115 petitions challenging the MCI notification on NEET for admission to MBBS and post-graduate medical courses conducted in colleges across the country.
On May 13, the court had lifted the bar on declaration of results of examinations that had already been conducted and said the admission process could go ahead.
It had modified its December 13, 2012 order by which it had stated that MCI, Dental Council of India, as well as the states, universities and other institutions, will be entitled to conduct their respective examinations for MBBS, BDS and post-graduate courses but shall not declare their results until further orders.
In an interim order, the SC had directed the MCI and all private colleges to start their admission process, as per the old guidelines where the MCI, state governments and private colleges conduct their separate exams.
A large section of aspiring medicos did back NEET, arguing that NEET will make the admission process simpler and more transparent.