The Supreme Court's Interim Order on NEET


Dated 13 May, 2013.

"IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
O R D E R

ALTAMAS KABIR, CJI.

1. In all these 115 matters, which include writ petitions filed in
this Court and in different High Courts, which have been transferred to
this Court for decision, the subject matter of challenge is a notification
published on 27th December, 2010, being No. MCI-81(1)/2010-MED/49070 dated
21st December, 2010, issued by the Medical Council of India, notifying a
National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to Post-Graduate
Medical Courses conducted in colleges all across the country.

2. The challenge to the said notification gave rise to a wide range of
submissions involving the competence of the Medical Council of India,
constituted under Section 3 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, to
introduce such a test which denudes the different medical colleges across
the country from having any control over their entrance examinations and
admissions on the basis thereof.

3. On 13th December, 2012, when the matters were taken up for
consideration, we decided to post the matters for final hearing on 15th,
16th and 17th January, 2013, and allowed the respective entrance
examinations, which had already been notified, to be held, while the
hearing progressed. Such examinations included the National Eligibility
Entrance Test(NEET) for both MBBS and Post-Graduate courses in different
disciplines, as also the BDS and MDS examinations. Presuming that the
hearing would be completed on the dates indicated, we had directed that the
Medical Council of India, the Dental Council of India, as well as the
States and Universities and other institutions, would be entitled to
conduct their respective examinations for the MBBS, BDS and Post-Graduate
courses, but the results of the examinations were not to be declared until
further orders of the Court. Consequently, although, the examinations have
been held, the results have been withheld and have not been declared, on
account of the interim order passed by us.

4. The hearing could not be concluded within 17th January, 2013, as we
had hoped, on account of the enlargement of the scope of the hearing and
the large number of parties who had to be heard in the matter. In fact, the
matters were last heard on 30th April, 2013, and it has, therefore, not
been possible to pronounce judgment before the Supreme Court closed for the
summer vacations on 10th May, 2013.

5. While the matters were being heard, we had been informed by the
learned senior counsel appearing for the Christian Medical College,
Vellore, and the Karnataka Pvt. Medical & Dental College, that a large
number of students would be adversely affected and would stand to lose a
year, if the bar on the declaration of their results was not lifted.
Although, initially, we had declined to entertain such prayer, on account
of the delay in completion of the hearing and the prospect of the students
losing a year on account thereof, we feel that students hoping to gain
admission in the MBBS as well as Post-Graduate courses on the strength of
the results of the examinations, which have already been held and for which
they had appeared, should not be denied such opportunity, at least for this
year. We are also alive to the fact that it is the Post-Graduate students
in the medical colleges, who take charge of the medical treatment of
patients in the hospitals. Without fresh entrants into the Post-Graduate
courses, even for a year, the hospitals are likely to be adversely affected
on account of lack of doctors to directly take care of the patients in the
hospitals.

6. Apart from the above, the students, who aspire to gain entry into
the medical colleges at the MBBS and BDS and the Post-Graduate levels, have
been caught in the legal tangle for no fault of theirs and are the victims
of policy decisions. In order to safeguard their interests, as also the
interest of the hospitals, we consider it just and equitable to lift the
bar imposed by us on 13th December, 2012, for this year's entrance
examinations and, to that extent, we modify our order of 13th December,
2012, and allow the results of the examinations already conducted to be
declared to enable the students to take advantage of the same for the
current year.

...................CJI.
(ALTAMAS KABIR)

.....................J.
(ANIL R. DAVE)

.....................J.
(VIKRAMAJIT SEN)
New Delhi
Dated: May 13, 2013.

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