HC seeks govt's response to contempt plea over NEET suicides
Chennai: The Madras high court observed that the government alone could not be faulted for students, who failed to clear exams like the NEET, committing suicide.
The other stake-holders, particularly the parents, who put enormous pressure on the children to score high marks in exams, were also to be blamed, it said.
In its oral observations, the court also asked the politicians not to glorify or give political colour to cases of suicide by those who failed to clear the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
Justice N Kirubakaran made the observations on a contempt plea filed by lawyer A P Suryaprakasam, seeking to punish the authorities concerned for their "wilful disobedience" of the August 24, 2017 order of the court, directing the state to take immediate steps, including providing counselling to students, to prevent such incidents.
Wondering as to what had happened to the appeal of the court to politicians and film actors who were asked to involve themselves to advise and ask the children not to take the extreme step, the judge said it was not going to treat the present petition as a contempt plea.
He directed the government to file its response within two weeks.
The petitioner has submitted that in spite of specific directions to the government to give counselling to those children and parents, who have been frustrated owing to the "unreasonable deprivation" of medical education to the poor and rural students by the introduction of the NEET, the authorities had failed to follow the directions.
The failure to implement the court's directions had resulted in two more deaths of students, who failed to clear the NEET this year, he has submitted.
Two teenage girls of Tiruchirappali and Thiruvannamalai districts committed suicide recently as they were upset over their failure to clear the NEET.
Opposing the plea, Additional Advocate General Manishankar submitted that the government could not be blamed for such incidents.
The two suicides were unfortunate, but the government had already initiated several steps to help the students clear the NEET, he said.
It had only been a year since such initiatives were implemented and it would take some time for the results to show, he added.
The petitioner had approached the court even without trying to know what the government had done so far, he said, contending that the contempt plea was totally unwarranted and not maintainable.