Supreme Court declines to stay NEET ordinance

The Supreme Court Thursday refused to stay the NEET ordinance, whereby the state governments have been allowed to conduct their own tests for admission to medical courses for the current academic session.
But a bench led by Justice Anil R Dave criticised the central government for overreaching the court orders by way of issuing the ordinance. The ordinance was issued to nullify the apex court’s order that admissions to all medical colleges could happen only through National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The bench was hearing a petition challenging the validity of the NEET ordinance. “It is disturbing and not proper for the government to bring an ordinance allowing states to hold their own tests despite our orders… Prima facie, we find that the validity of the ordinance is in doubt,” remarked the bench, also comprising Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarch K Goel.
However, the court said that it would not stay the ordinance after half the states had already conducted their exams as it would create “more chaos”. It also declined a plea for centralised counselling of successful candidates of various entrance tests.
Representing the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had earlier told the court that the ordinance, which keeps state boards outside the purview of the single medical entrance test NEET, is only for this academic year and the government was well within its right to come up with it.
Petitioner Anand Rai, who claims to be a whistleblower in the Vyapam scam, and others challenging the ordinance said the Centre was not competent to nullify the judicial order by promulgating the ordinance. Rai in his plea had sought quashing of the ordinance, which got presidential assent on May 24, and sought a stay on its operation as interim relief.

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