NEET 2018: Delhi HC Stays CBSE’s Notification On Eligibility Criteria
On February 28, the Delhi High Court stayed the CBSE’s notification on upper age limits and other criteria for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam (NEET) which is conducted for MBBS admission. A division of bench comprising of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chandra Shekhar was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the notification.
The plea said that the CBSE decision was against the Supreme Court decision of not setting up any age limit for appearing in the NEET examination.
Students file petitions against CBSE’s notification
Earlier, in a notification, CBSE had set the upper limit of 25 years and 30 years for students belonging to the reserved category and persons with disability. The notice further said candidates who have passed 10+2 from Open schools or as private candidates would not be eligible for taking NEET. It also barred students who had taken Biology/Biotechnology as an additional subject in 10+2 from applying for the exam.
Last week when the petitioners approached the Supreme Court challenging the notification regarding the upper age limit, the Division Bench of Justices SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara allowed the petitioners to withdraw their petitions with the liberty to move to High Court.
One of the petitioners, Jasna, who is a professionally trained nurse said in her petition that she is being denied the opportunity to appear for NEET as she was born in April, 1988 and would turn 30 just before the examination, which is the upper age limit for writing the NEET examination. Jasna belongs to the reserved category. She referred to the prospectus issued by the Office of the Controller of Entrance Examinations, Government of Kerala, on January 30 for admission to Professional Degree Course, 2018 which provides for reservation of a seat under the quota for “Nurses-Allopathy”. The petitioner also submitted that it takes minimum of 3-5 years to get into regular service after graduation and by this time most would have completed the age of 25 years.
Other two petitioners Jalaludheen T and Suresh T who have already completed courses of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) have alleged that the upper age limit was “arbitrary and unreasonable”.
In their plea, they presented that the Supreme Court had scrapped the age limit prescribed by CBSE for NEET. Their petition, which was filed through advocate Sri Vignesh stated that Kerala provides for quota in admission to MBBS and allied courses for the candidates who have qualified BAMS, BHMS and also for nurses.Their petition said,”The duration of BAMS and BHMS courses are five and a half years. Now if a person desires to take NEET-UG after completion of his course, it becomes difficult for him to do so due to the upper age limit prescribed infringing their fundamental rights enshrined under our Constitution.”
Delhi HC’s interim order
In its interim order, the Delhi High Court stated that the candidates are allowed to submit their application for the NEET entrance exam, however it does not mean that they can sit for it. The bench also said that the candidates who have studied privately and wish to apply for the exam should belong to a recognised board.
The court said the interim order will hold till next date of hearing on April 6.