On 5th July 2021, in a matter on the setting up of a committee by the State to ascertain if NEET had prejudicially affected socially backward classes, the Madras High Court decided to hear the outlook of the State and that of all third parties who had applied for being impleaded.
Brief Facts of the Case:
A writ petition was filed before the Madras High Court questioning the validity of setting up a Committee by the Tamil Nadu Government to adjudge if NEET had been prejudicial regarding the admission of socially backward classes. A nine-member Committee had been constituted to research the same. If the Committee found sufficient information pointing towards discrimination of the underprivileged, the Committee would suggest alternative ways for admissions of students interested in pursuing the medical field.
Petitioner, in his submission, mentioned a previous judgment by the Honorable Supreme Court in 2017, which directed the Tamil Nadu Government to not discriminate between examinations conducted by various boards for allowing admissions to multiple colleges. The Supreme Court had in the same order also stated that admissions must take place as per the result of the NEET examinations. This left no scope for the State to undertake any such exercise. The plea further claimed that the Parliament had carefully considered every aspect while establishing the National Entrance Examination for Medical Education (NEET) as a way of admission into undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. At a time when preparations for NEET were in full swing, interfering with this issue to merely satisfy political agendas would be a massive disrespect towards the students’ hard work.
A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed that any decision on this matter affected the students and also was of importance to political parties, pressure groups, and citizens of the country. The Court had received requests for representation from several third parties in this matter. Although it seemed unreasonable to take into account all such requests, the Court, in this matter, kept in mind the best interests of the students and decided to hear the views of all parties who had submitted such requests.
The Court stated in its order that it was ready to hear the matter. It directed the State to file counter-affidavit latest by 8th July to prevent further delay in concluding the case. The Court also allowed the third parties requesting impleadment access to the petition and the counter-affidavit. The Court would hear this matter next on 13th July.
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