Supreme Court orders MCI and Centre to reply with answers on NEET 2017 upper age limit imposition

(Justice R Banumathi & Justice Dipak Misra)

After the High Courts in Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Allahabad ordered the Centre and the MCI (Medical Council of India) to come up with descriptive affidavits on imposing upper age limit in NEET 2017, the Supreme Court toady ordered a clarification from the bodies as well. Terming the matter urgent and timely, the two bench judge Justice Dipak Misra and Justice R Banumathi of the Supreme Court asked the MCI and government to come up with their responses as to how they plan to implement the upper age limit for NEET 2017 and their standpoint on it. The court will hear the matter of Writ Petition (Civil) 99/2017, next on February 23.

Online applications for NEET 2017 is due to close on March 1, and aspirants would like the matter to get resolved well before the last date. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which is responsible for conducting NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for MBBS/BDS courses across the country, came up with a regulation of an upper age limit of 25 years for the first time this year. Ever since the notification came out on January 31, aspirants across the country are protesting against it.

Talking to PaGaLGuY, advocate Vaibhav Shrivastava, who is co-representing the petitioners, said, “The court has ordered the MCI and government to come up with their responses on the next date of hearing, which is on February 23. They need to make their stand clear to the court at the next hearing, after which the apex court might deliver its judgment.”

Seeking justice, aspirants from Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Allahabad, West Bengal, Delhi and other states have filed petitions in their respective High Courts. Allahabad High Court on February 15 ordered the MCI, CBSE and the Centre to reply with the process, following which they implemented the age limit and asked them to file an affidavit before February 20.

Vyapam Scam Whistleblower Dr Anand Rai, who is spearheading the petition filed at the Supreme Court, said, “I am confident that the order will be in our favour in the next hearing. Till now, four of the High Courts in the country has issued a notice to the MCI, CBSE and government, and I am expecting good news from the apex court on February 23.”