All medical aspirants can appear for National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) this year irrespective of age as the Supreme Court on Friday removed the cap of 25 years fixed by CBSE.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar said CBSE's decision to fix an age limit on the basis of the administrative instruction of Medical Council of India seemed wrong and students should not be barred from appearing for entrance examination.
The court directed CBSE to extend the application deadline to April 5 so that those above 25 years could apply for NEET, which is scheduled for May 7.The last date for filling up forms was March 1.
The bench agreed with the submission of the aggrieved students who contended that the CBSE decision was illegal and unconstitutional as there were no rules or regulations for fixing an upper age limit for medical entrance examination. Senior advocates Amrendra Sharan and Indu Malhotra, appearing for the students, told the bench that about 20,000 candidates had been affected due to the age limit.
The court asked CBSE to make arrangements to allow the affected students to appear for NEET and provide additional centres for them.
“CBSE shall be bound by the order passed by this court as far as the cut-off date is concerned. No high court in the country shall interfere with regard to any litigation pertaining to choosingallocation of centres,“ the court said.
`Omission of Urdu from exam a bias'
A students' organization told the SC on Friday that the Centre had deliberately left Urdu as a medium to take NEET as the government is “prejudiced and biased“ against Muslims. Taking exception to the allegations, solicitor general Ranjit Kumar said it was a very serious charge against the government as the students' body had termed the Centre as “communal“ and sought nod to file response. The court gave the Centre one week to file a response.