THE SUPREME Court Friday declined to issue any urgent order to modify its directive to hold the common all-India medical entrance test in two phases even as the central government cited “practical difficulties” in conducting the exam for the 2016-17 session.
“We passed our order after hearing all the parties. We will not examine this again now. Let the exams continue,” a bench led by Justice Anil R Dave told Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand.
The bench said the aggrieved parties can file their applications, which would be heard in due course when the case comes up next for regular hearing. The matter is now listed for hearing on May 3.
In the morning, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, along with the ASG, requested the bench that it was difficult to hold the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) this year in two phases as state medical entrance exams were already scheduled.
He pointed out some exams had already taken place, while the rest were coming up. Rohatgi suggested that the NEET should happen jointly on July 24 and the state medical exams could be conducted in the meantime. The AG said there was a need to modify the Thursday order since a lot of confusion was created regarding validity of the state medical exams.
Responding to this, the court said it would not go into all that as of now but agreed to consider if an urgent hearing could be granted to the parties on Friday.
However, in the afternoon, Justice Dave declined to issue any urgent directions on modifying the court’s Thursday order and said it would not be possible to give a hearing to the Centre and a few states which wanted a green signal for their medical exams.
“We are not having the bench. Let the exam go on. Let them file the applications,” said Justice Dave, who heads the special bench hearing the NEET case.
On Thursday, the court had fixed the timeline for conducting the NEET for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses and clarified that its directive will supersede all other orders relating to medical admissions.
With this clarification, the three-judge bench had made it unequivocal that all other admission tests, already held or scheduled for later, for admission to government colleges, deemed universities, private medical colleges, minority and linguistic minority colleges, stand scrapped.
The schedule was submitted jointly by the Union Health Ministry, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI).
According to the schedule, the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) scheduled for May 1 will be treated as first round of the NEET.
However, those who have not applied for AIPMT will be given opportunity to appear in round two on July 24. The combined result will be declared on August 17, in order to complete the admission process by September 30 — the deadline set by the apex court in its previous orders.
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