NEET 2018: Delhi HC puts on hold notification on eligibility norms, seeks CBSE and MCI's reply

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday put on hold the operation of a CBSE notification laying down eligibility conditions, including the upper age limit of 25 and 30 years for general and reserved categories respectively, to apply for MBBS course.

The order was passed by a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar on several petitions moved by medical aspirants who are aggrieved by various other eligibility norms which bar them from applying for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)-UG for which the last date for submission of application is 9 March.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

It also sought responses of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Medical Council of India (MCI) on the candidates' pleas and listed the matters for further hearing on 16 April, till when the interim order of the bench will be in force.

The court, while passing its interim order, made it clear that while the candidates will be allowed to submit their application for the entrance exam, it does not mean that they can sit for the examination, scheduled to be held on 6 May.

The bench also said that students from open schools or those who have studied privately should belong to a recognised board in order to apply for the exam.

Senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, appearing for several MBBS aspirants, told the court that the students were also challenging the constitutional validity of the amendments made by the MCI in the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education which are the basis of the NEET-UG notification issued by the CBSE.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for MCI, opposed the maintainability of the pleas saying a similar issue has already been decided by the high court in the past.

The CBSE said it had nothing to do with the amendments made by MCI and was only concerned with carrying out the tests as per the existing regulations.

Under the 22 January notification of CBSE, candidates who have studied in open school, students who have had biology or biotechnology as an additional subject, those who have taken more than two years to complete their 11th and 12th and students who have studied privately, were not eligible to apply for the exam.

The petitions before the court included those by candidates from open schools as well as two medical students from Kerala who have already completed courses of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS).

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Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 20:47:29 IST

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