NEET is necessary in national interest, doesn't violate rights of any minority institutions: SC

New Delhi [India], April 29 (ANI): Supreme Court in its judgement today held that the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), examination (medical and dental courses) does not violate the right of minorities to run their own institutions and impart education.

The apex court's three-judge bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, passed the verdict after hearing a clutch of petitions including that of Vellore's Christian Medical College (CMC) and several others against the Union of India.

The Supreme Court, in its judgement, had rejected a plea filed by the minority-run CMC and many other medical institutions and colleges to conduct their own test for admission to under-graduate and post-graduate medical courses.

The SC in its judgement said, "The NEET has been prescribed by the Legislature in the larger public interest that has to prevail. We find the provisions to be reasonable conditions of recognition/affiliation are binding the very existence of all such institution whether they are run by majority or minority failing which they cannot exist and impart education," Justice Mishra said in the judgement.

Justice Mishra observed that the prescription of NEET is definitely good in order to improve medical education, co!related to the improvement of public health.

The bench led by Justice Mishra, said, the NEET intends to weed out evils from the system and various malpractices which decayed it. The regulatory measures in no way interfere with the rights to administer the institution by the religious or linguistic minorities.

While rejecting the contention of the CMC, Vellore, the top court said, "We hold that there is no violation of the rights of the unaided/ aided minority to administer institutions under Articles 19 (1) (g) (right to practice profession) and 30 (right minorities to establish and administer institution) read with Articles 25 (freedom to practice religion), 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs) and 29 (1) (right to conserve distinct language and culture) of the Constitution by prescribing the uniform examination of NEET for admissions in the graduate and postgraduate professional courses of medical as well as dental science."

The court also made it clear that the provisions of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Act and regulation cannot be said to be ultra vires, as claimed by many petitioners, or taking away the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

The unaided institutions belonging to the minority community argued before the SC that State has no power to compel them to admit students through a single centralized national examination such as NEET.

Justice Mishra, in his judgement, said, "The decision has been taken considering the overall national scenario, there cannot be any exemption, otherwise, there would be no end to such claims and multiple examinations."

"Still, there are several loopholes, which are to be plugged in the admission procedure. Unscrupulous practices are being adopted by private colleges of not admitting students sponsored by centralised counselling committee" Justice Mishra observed in his ruling today.

"The minority and private institutions have to admit students based on merit in the permissible category, based on NEET as per the procedure prescribed under the Act and Regulations," the bench said. (ANI)