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SC Bench Scraps Single–Window Entrance Test

The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the single–window National Eligibility–cum–Entrance Test (NEET), dealing a body blow to uniform admission norms for MBBS, BDS and MD seats in all medical colleges and allowing private ones to frame their own admission norms and charge, in many cases, stiff capitation fees.

A three–judge bench by two to one majority struck down the test as unconstitutional and ruled that the Medical Council of India (MCI) had no power to issue notifications in 2010 to regulate admissions to 271 medical colleges, 138 run by government and 133 under private management offering 31,000 MBBS and BDS and 11,000 MD seats.

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Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, on his last day before retirement, and Justice Vikramjit Sen formed the majority to hold that the notification mandating NEET violated private medical colleges’ rights to carry on business guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) and the constitutional guarantee under Article 30 to the minority community to set up and manage educational institutions.

Justice A R Dave did not agree and, in a strong dissent, stressed that there was no proper discussion on the draft majority verdict which appeared to have been rushed because the CJI was to retire in a few days.

The majority judgment took away what was given four years ago by another SC bench after long deliberations on the benefit of single–window entrance test for all medical colleges.

Aarogya news STRONG DISSENT BY JUSTICE DAVE

In 2–1 verdict, three–judge SC bench says Medical Council of India and Dental Council of India have no statutory authority to conduct common entrance test, control admissions to all medical colleges

MCI and DCI only have a mandate under law to prescribe standards to ensure excellence of medical education

Judgment of CJI Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramjit Sen quashes NEET, which was envisioned, formulated and approved in 2010 by a 2–judge SC bench to remove corruption in medical seat allotment. Justice A R Dave strongly dissents

Admissions made on basis of NEET this year will not be affected; pvt medical colleges had already taken exemption from NEET this year

Source :
Times of India
19 July 2013, New Delhi, India.

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