The Supreme Court today refused to accord urgent hearing and grant interim stay on the operation of recently-promulgated ordinance which allows states to continue with their separate entrance tests for MBBS and BDS courses for academic year 2016-17. “Let us not create further confusion on medical entrance test and let there be some certainty for the students. Moreover, this (ordinance) is there for one year only,” a vacation bench of Justices P C Pant and D Y Chandrachud said while declining urgent hearing of the plea filed by an Indore-based doctor on the issue. “Let the matter come up for hearing after the (summer) vacation,” it said.
The court prima facie did not agree with the submission of senior advocate Vivek Tankha, appearing for petitioner Anand Rai who also claims to be a whistle blower in the Vyapam scam, that the Government was not competent to nullify the judicial order by promulgating the ordinance.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, said the ordinance, which keeps state boards outside the purview of single medical entrance test NEET, is only for this academic year and the government was well within its right to come up with it. He also objected to the plea for urgent hearing, saying it is not an “earth shattering” matter.
States like Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, which conduct separate tests in their respective vernacular languages, had demanded this be conatinued for the present academic session only by keeping interests of students in mind, Rohatgi said, adding that NEET question papers are either in English or in Hindi.
Yesterday, Rai had filed the plea seeking quashing of the ordinance, which got Presidential assent on May 24. The plea had also sought a stay on the operation of the ordinance as an interim relief.
Referring to Centre’s stand to support the single-window National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to MBBS and dental courses, the plea said the government has now taken a “complete U-turn” which shows “mala fide and ill intent towards the process of admission of students who shall suffer the most”.