Raising the hopes of many NRI parents,the Bombay High Court has directed the state government to decide within four weeks whether or not overseas citizens of India (OCI) should be permitted to appear for the MHT-CET,an entrance exam for medical courses.
A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice K R Shriram heard a petition filed by Pune resident Pooja Tendulkar after she was disqualified because she is a US citizen by birth. The petition mentions that Rule 4 (1) concerning eligibility criteria in the MHT- CET brochure was discriminatory as it barred OCI and NRIs from taking the entrance exam. It contended that Kerala and Andhra Pradesh had done away with such curbs.
Pooja was born in 1994,when the Tendulkars were briefly in the US. They returned after a few years and from the age of six Pooja studied under the state board. The government had provisionally allowed Pooja to appear for the MHT-CET in May 2012 and told the court that it was reviewing the eligibility rules.
Advocate Asim Sarode,who represented Pooja,said,The state government told the High Court on April 11 last year that it will allow Pooja to appear for the MHT-CET in May 2012. The then High Court Bench of Justice Sharad Bobde and Mrudula Bhatkar had asked the state to take immediate decision and clear any confusion around the issue. Subsequently Pooja took admission in a dental college.
Sarode added,The HC directed the state to decide in a month. They said in case of an adverse decision,the Poojas parents,on her behalf,were at liberty to challenge the state governments inaction.