Chennai: In a major development, the Madras high Court has directed the authorities to overlook the mistake of three students who had inadvertently stated that they belonged to the general category while appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The court directed that the three be considered of the OBC category that they claimed to belong.
Taking a humanitarian viewpoint of the application error committed by them Justice B. Rajendran stated,” “When a student commits some mistake and seeks for alteration of such a mistake at a later point of time, taking into consideration that his future will be at stake by reason of such mistake, this court, invoking the powers conferred on it under Article 226 of the Constitution, in order to do complete justice, feels that the plea of the petitioners can be entertained.”
He further noted that a mistake of this kind committed by petitioners “should not be put against them to deny their fundamental right to get admitted into medical college based on their communal status;” allowing the students’ pleas.
In three separate petitions submitted by Vishnu Bargavi S., K. Kevin Germanus, and S. Sathesh Kumar the three admitted to the errors committed by them at the time of appearing for the NEET exam, over the category of community. They also revealed that they were not allowed to correct their errors at a later point in time.
On the declaration of the NEET result the three discovered that they had got 133, 135, and 134 marks respectively- all above the OBC cut of 118. Hence they decided to move a petition in court, seeking a change in category.
After hearing both sides of the argument, the judge said: “Should this great opportunity of studying for one year in the prime time of their life be deprived because of the mistake committed by them in not filling up the application form correctly. Definitely, this Court can come to their rescue.”
The judge upheld that petitioners be treated in accordance with their communal status despite the application errors committed. He further issued a directive to the authorities to treat them as per their communal status and to pass appropriate orders. However, he heeded that the direction was not to be taken as a precedent.
Prior to this the judge also quoted the statement of the Central Board of School education (CBSE) that correction, if any, made with respect to the data in the application can be permitted to be corrected as a one-time measure to the student.
The judgement as per the Supreme Court’s decision was delivered a day before September 30, the last date for seeking admissions into medical colleges.