NEET Does Not Violate Rights of Minority Institutions, Says SC

The SC said NEET was introduced to eliminate corruption & to introduce a standardized entrance exam.

Published
Education
2 min read
Supreme Court of India.
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 29 April, said that the prescription of National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) as an uniform entrance exam for medical and dental courses did not violate rights of unaided/aided minority institutions under Articles 19(1) (g) & 30 read with 25, 26 & 29(1) of Constitution, reported Live Law.

The bench, headed by Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and MR Shah maintained that NEET was introduced to eliminate corruption and to introduce a standardized entrance exam for admissions to medical colleges in India.

It also said that NEET did not violate or endanger any of the rights enjoyed by religious or linguistic minorities under Article 30.

“There is no violation of the rights of the unaided/aided minority to administer institutions under Articles 19(1) (g) and 30 read with Articles 25, 26 and 29(1) of the Constitution of India by prescribing the uniform examination of NEET for admissions in the graduate and postgraduate professional courses of medical as well as dental science. The provisions of the Act and regulation cannot be said to be ultra vires or taking away the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India under Article 30(1) read with Articles 19(1)(g), 14, 25, 26 and 29(1).”
Supreme Court Bench

Further, the bench said that the “rights to administer an institution under Article 30 of the Constitution are not above the law and other Constitutional provisions Reasonable regulatory measures can be provided without violating such rights available under Article 30 of the Constitution to administer an institution.”

The bench maintained that regulatory measures under NEET were prescribed not only to ensure that institutes function properly and that the standard of education is maintained, but also to eliminate evils and malpractices and to bring education within the realm of charity.

The case was being heard by the Supreme Court after Christian Medical College Vellore and several other minority medical institutions, had challenged the requirement for them to also use NEET for admissions to their programmes.

Several petitions had been filed in 2012/13, and the original judgment of the Supreme Court in 2013 had been in their favour. However, after a review of that judgment, it became possible for the government to make this mandatory again.

In 2016, the central government amended the Medical Council of India Act and the Dentists Act to make it compulsory for all colleges offering medical or dentistry courses to use NEET for admissions, which the minority institutions challenged in the apex court on the basis that this violated their constitutional right to run and administer educational institutions.

Wednesday's judgment puts to rest the long-running controversy, which means all these colleges will have to use NEET for conducting admissions going forward.

(With inputs from LiveLaw and PTI)

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