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Analysis

SLP filed in SC on NEET matter

T S Venkatesan

T S VenkatesanOct 18, 2021, 09:00 PM IST

SLP filed in SC on NEET matter

 

Special Revision Petition under Article 136 of Constitution of India is being filed against the impugned judgment and final order of Madras High court in W P No. 13384/2021 in the NEET issue. The petitioner also sought ad-interim ex-parte stay on operation and further proceedings in connection with GO MS no.283 dated by which a “ high level committee has been set up by the TN government. 

Tamil Nadu is only the state that has been opposing the NEET and falsely assuring the students that it would be repealed or get exemption. It assured in its poll manifesto that repealing enactment would be the first action of the DMK government if voted to power. Both M K Stalin and his son Udhayanidhi Stalin had parroted this in all poll campaigns. After coming to power they continued to repeat this lie to the students. Health Minister M Subrmanian also misleading the students by confusing statements. He said no time line was given to repeal NEET and students should start prepare to face the examination. 

Tamil Nadu has been opposing NEET since the inception of the test in 2013. During UPA-II innings, NEET was introduced in which DMK was an alliance partner. Incidentally in TN medical colleges are owned by politicians and there is a powerful lobby that oppose the NEET which it fear will kill them in the long run.  Barring BJP, the ruling  DMK and  AIADMK , left, Congress and other fringe parties continue its crusade against NEET fully aware that they can’t do anything in this matter. Under pressure from opposition and to keep the matter off the burner, DMK government set up a committee under the chairmanship of retired HC judge AK Rajan to study the impact of the NEET on medical admissions.  BJP state general secretary K Nagarajan filed a PIL in the Madras High Court seeking to quash the June 10 order of the Secretary, Health and Family welfare department which constituted the commission as unconstitutional, illegal, unfair and without legal jurisdiction.  The Central government argued before the first bench o
f Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy that the commission was neither requisite nor valid. The NEET was introduced across the country pursuant to an amendment made in 2016 to the Indian Medical Council bill Act of 1956. It said though the IMC act was repealed with National medical Council 

Act of 2019.  It said any decision taken by a state government under Entry 25 of the concurrent list would be subject to the Centre’s powers under the Entry of 66 of the Union list”.  The court had dismissed the PIL saying it was not contrary to the order of the SC on the matter and said nothing there to prevent an elected government from studying the impact of NEET. It said panel does not amount to subverting the process of medical admissions and would not amount to defying the orders of apex court of even the remotest challenge to the authority of the central government. 

Along with Nagarajan of BJP, a batch of petitions were filed seeking to implead them in the case.  One of the petitioner was S Trisha Mahalakshmi of Shenoy Nagar, Chennai. She has filed a Special Leave Petition  (SLP) in the apex court against the 13th July impugned judgment and final order in W P No 13384/2021 passed by the Madras High Court wherein and whereby the HC without affording any opportunity of being heard to the petition and without looking into the facts and circumstances of the case and hearing of all the parties, dismissed the writ petition and closed the impleadement application by her. 

The petitioner has raised questions of law “whether the HC failed to appreciate that GO MS No. 283/2021 dated 10th June has been issued by the state government without any legislative competence?  Whether the HC has failed to appreciate that the state government is not empowered to appoint a high level committee to assess impact of a legislative enactment passed by the Parliament and constitutionally upheld by the apex court? “ She has also said whether the Madras High court ‘ has failed to acknowledge that the act of constituting a “high level committee  by the state is ultra vires and is in direct contravention to list 1 entry 66 of the 7th schedule of the Indian Constitution and judgment of this hon’ble Court” .  

The petitioner stated that even when a judicial order dated 5th July was passed categorically holding that “ all applicants who have filed impleadment applications will be heard on the merits of the matter”. But the court closed impleadment application filed the petitioner without even affording an opportunity of being heard.

The petitioner stated that act of constitution a high level committee violated constitutional serendipity and breaches cooperative federalism which is binding catalyst of our democracy.  “grant special leave to appeal against the impugned judgment and final order dated 13th July in WP no. 13384/2021 passed by the Madras High Court  and pass any other orders.

Meanwhile, Rajan panel has submitted its findings which is nothing but looked like a DMK poll manifesto. It was the voice of the DMK. The panel picked up data to fit its pre-decided conclusions and did not consider others which are not in supportive of its narratives. It said “the NEET will take the state back to pre-independence days and urged the government to eliminate it at all levels by following the required legal and or legislative procedures”.  It also recommended that TN government may pass an act indicating the need for eliminating NEET for medical education and get the president’s assent for the same. Accordingly the DMK government passed a resolution on this lines. Critics said ex- judge Rajan is a DMK supporter and the pictures of Karunanidhi, MK Stalin in his book almirah is a clear proof. He is in a panel of SRM University which runs a medical college.   

Political commentator Sumanth C Raman, in one of his interviews, commented that unfortunately NEET became a political issue. “And once it became political, it has continued to be used for political objectives rather than economic ones. There is a cherry picking of the data. Eg, for students who got admission into MBBS course from the government schools, the date are only given from 2014 and not from 2010”.  He doubted whether it would get Presidential assent and even if it does, will it stand the scrutiny of the country. This means that NEET is likely to continue at least in the near term.  Ex HC judge K Chandru said “mere statistics highlighting that a majority of the stakeholders do not want NEET in Tamil Nadu is not an answer for exempting the examination that was introduced by a Central law. Data is necessary only when there is a power to legislate on the subject concerned”.

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