Millennium Post

Apex court quashes common entrance test for medical colleges

Clearing the uncertainty over single window medical entrance test – National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday, in a majority 2:1 decision, held that the Medical Council of India (MCI) is not empowered under the act to conduct the NEET. It quashed the MCI notification for holding common entrance tests for MBBS, BDS and post-graduate medical courses.

The majority verdict said that common entrance test in medical colleges violates the rights of state and private institutions. The court, however, has made it clear in its verdict that it will not affect the admissions which have already been given.

The majority verdict said that common test seems attractive but it is fraught with difficulties and it would perpetuate divide between urban and rural students in the name of giving credit to merit, while the dissenting verdict said the policy was legal and it would stop corrupt practice of undeserving students getting admission by paying huge capitation fee.

The majority verdict by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramajit Sen said that MCI notification was in violation of Articles 19, 25, 26, 29 and 30 of the Constitution and declared it ultra vires of the Constitution.

‘In our view, the role attributed to and the powers conferred on the MCI and the DCI under the provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and the Dentists Act, 1948, do not contemplate anything different and are restricted to laying down standards which are uniformly applicable to all medical colleges and institutions in India to ensure the excellence of medical education in India.’ said the majority verdict.

Dissenting the majority verdict, Justice A R Dave said that he did not share the view of Chief Justice
Kabir and Justice Sen and ‘holding of NEET is legal, practical and is the need of the society.’
Justice Dave said that the impugned notifications are not only legal in the eyes of law but are also a boon to the students aspiring to join medical profession.
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