Below 17 not eligible for NEET upholds High Court
Chandigarh: A candidate appearing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS/BDS courses without attaining the age of 17 would miss one out of the three chances available to him , is the ruling, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently reiterated.
The High Court was responding to a recent petition filed by a minor, Kuldeep Singh Malik, through his father Ranbir Singh Malik against the Union Government and other respondents. The petitioner was contending the condition that a candidate must have completed 17 years at the time of admission, or by December 2017.
The petitioner in his petition stated no minimum age had been prescribed in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and the rules that came within. The counsel further added that that the petitioner would turn 17 in February 2018. This had led to the bench to allow the petitioner to fill an online /manual application for NEET 2017(held on May 7) on a previous hearing day, subject to the outcome of the present petition.
Advocate Puneet Gupta, the Union Government counsel however, revealed that the minimum age of 17 years was prescribed under Regulations 4(1) of the Medical Council of India Regulation on Graduate Medical Education, 1997.
Advocate Gupta referring to a decision by a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court in the case of “Ankit Chaturvedi versus the Union of India and others”, said that controversy of a similar nature had been resolved wherein vires of the said regulation had been upheld.
The petitioners counsel who then pleaded that the petitioner be allowed to withdraw the petition and also given permission to avail his three NEET chances and the chance availed under the court order, not be counted was declined the pleading.
Advocate Gupta said that the petitioner was disallowed three chances, as he had availed of one by providing incorrect information to the court.
Justice Jain said the petitioner’s case was based on the understanding that there was no ruling for 17 being the necessary minimum age for appearing in NEET-2017. The court then observed
“The contention of the petitioner is totally fallacious… there is no merit in the present petition and the same is hereby dismissed. It is also ordered that since one chance, under the order of this court, by misrepresenting the facts has already been availed by the petitioner, he can avail two chances more… the result of the first attempt need not be declared because he was underage.”
Attached is the copy of the judgement