Tamil Nadu government’s move to assess NEET impact hits high court hurdle

Chennai: The first bench of the Madras High Court has observed that without the nod of the Supreme Court, the Tamil Nadu Government cannot form a committee to study the impact of NEET on socially backward students.

The Madras High Court asked the Tamil Nadu government to file a reply within a week, regarding a petition moved by the state BJP, challenging the government-constituted AK Rajan Committee.

The plea filed by BJP State General Secretary Karu Nagarajan, who called the 9-member AK Rajan Committee unconstitutional, illegal, unfair and unreasonable. Nagarajan’s plea wanted the Court to restrain the committee from proceeding further.

It added that as per the 2017 Supreme Court ruling, the Tamil Nadu government was required to implement NEET exam for medical entrance.

During the hearing of this plea, the Court questioned the Tamil Nadu government over whether it had sought or obtained the permission of the Supreme Court in this matter, as forming such a committee would be against its orders.

Appearing on behalf of the state government, Advocate General Shanmugasundaram submitted that the committee formation was a policy decision taken by the government. He added that it was also backed by the DMK manifesto and the people’s demand.

Responding to this, the first bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said, “May be, but if it is contrary to the Supreme Court order, then it cannot be permitted.”

It was the ruling DMK’s election promise to abolish NEET if voted to power. DMK President MK Stalin had said that a law would be passed in the state assembly to abolish NEET, following which the Indian President’s assent would be sought.

The case will be heard next on July 5.

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