New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Tamil Nadu to admit students for MBBS and dental courses on the basis of NEET-based rankings after the Centre refused to grant the state exemption.
This comes as a huge setback for the state board students, who were expecting that the Tamil Nadu government would come out with an ordinance to allow admission to medical and dental colleges on the basis of higher secondary marks.
A three-judge Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Kurian Joseph and Amitav Roy extended the date of admissions for all institutions till September 4, as against the cut-off date of August 31.
The Bench made it clear that NEET-based admissions would be applicable for all examination boards.
During the resumed hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Bench that the Centre was not inclined to allow Tamil Nadu to promulgate an ordinance to exempt the state from NEET.
Although the Union Law Ministry had cleared the draft ordinance, the Centre was not inclined to grant exemption, Mehta said.
Senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram and other lawyers, appearing for CBSE/ State Board students, who had cleared the NEET examination, wanted the court to direct Tamil Nadu to direct colleges to admit students on the basis of NEET marks as there had already been an inordinate delay.
They said the last date for medical admission was August 31 and hence, the rank list should be published forthwith and admission process commenced immediately.
Senior counsel Shekar Naphade for Tamil Nadu faulted the Centre for not informing about its decision on “ordinance” at the earliest so that the state could have prepared for it.
They pointed out that the students started preparing for NEET from the beginning of the academic year 2016-17. Some of the students even gave up further studies to prepare for NEET.
The attempt by the state government to show undue favour to Tamil Nadu State Board students Vis a Vis CBSE students by passing a GO providing for 85 per cent quota was struck down by the High Court and upheld by the apex court.
Thus, it was the legitimate expectation of the students that admission to MBBS course in the academic year 2017-18 will be based only on NEET marks.