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Tamil Nadu NEET exemption: HC grants liberty to challenge Centre’s rejection

Tamil Nadu NEET exemption: HC grants liberty to challenge Centre’s rejection

The bench has disposed of the petitions and granted liberty to the petitioners to challenge the order of rejection subject to its maintainability.

Chennai: A division bench of the Madras High Court has disposed of a batch of PILs challenging the applicability of NEET to medical aspirants from Tamil Nadu.

When the matter came up before a bench of justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, the petitioners’ senior counsel R Viduthalai submitted that the Centre should have given reasons for rejecting two Bills of Tamil Nadu seeking exemption from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.

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The bench has disposed of the petitions and granted liberty to the petitioners to challenge the order of rejection subject to its maintainability.

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Two bills, seeking exemption from the NEET for medical admissions, were passed unanimously in the State Assembly in February 2017 and forwarded to the Centre for its approval.

Initially, the court was told that the bills were merely ‘withheld’.

The petitions from the TN Students-Parents Welfare Association, represented by PB Prince Gajendra Babu and U Mustaffa, prayed for a direction to the state government to complete the procedures for obtaining the Presidential assent for the Bills.

Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the issue being raised in parliament last month.

Raising the issue in Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, Leader of the DMK in the House, T R Baalu said the two Bills were adopted by the state Assembly and was rejected by the Governor after 27 months.

“You put the bills in cold storage for 27 months, the Centre informs the court that it has been rejected,” said Baalu.

Amid the din, Baalu also demanded a response from the government on the issues. As there was no response from the government, the DMK members staged a walkout.

NEET, which was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013, was restored in April 2016, by a five-judge constitution bench that allowed the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to implement the common entrance test.

In 2016, following requests from states like Tamil Nadu, government colleges were granted exemption from NEET for a year. This ended in 2017.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed two Bills with the support of all parties in 2017 for the state to be exempted from the test.

Read Also: Tamil Nadu NEET Issue raised in Parliament, angry DMK members stage walkout

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Source: PTI

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