Delhi HC issues notice to Centre on plea related to NEET-SS 2021

Delhi HC issues notice to Centre on plea related to NEET-SS 2021

NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Central government on a petition filed by an overseas citizen of India (OCI) challenging a provision in the notification relating to eligibility criteria for NEET-SS 2021.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti asked the Central government and National Board of Examinations (NBE) in Medical Sciences to file a reply to the petition.

The Court has listed the matter for further hearing on September 23.

The petition was filed through advocate Shivendra Singh.

According to the petition, the petitioner, Dr Snigdha Kamini, an OCI cardholder, who has studied both for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and Master of Surgery (MS) in India, is aggrieved by the addition of the words after "such other tests" in para (4)(ii) (including the proviso) in the notification dated March 4, 2021, issued by the Central government. Para 4 of the notification deals with non-resident Indians.

Para (4)(ii) of the notification stated that parity with non-resident Indians in the matter of appearing for the all India entrance tests such as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, Joint Entrance Examination (Mains), Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) or such other tests to make them eligible for admission only against any non-resident Indian seat or any supernumerary seat, provided that the OCI cardholder shall not be eligible for admission against any seat reserved exclusively for Indian citizens.

The petitioner, who is interested in pursuing super speciality studies (M Ch Course in Surgical Oncology) and has been working towards it for a few years, said that the impugned notification would virtually halt her career progression in India.

"Until last year, OCIs were eligible to appear for the super speciality entrance exams conducted by the respondent NBE," the petitioner said.

"It is well-known that the path to becoming a specialist doctor is arduous and the petitioner cannot be expected to from the scratch. To deny even the eligibility to the Petitioner to write the 2021 National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Super Specialty (NEET-SS) examination is patently illegal. India is in dire need of healthcare professionals as evident during the COVID pandemic crisis and by the extremely poor doctor-patient ratio. The impugned notification would only demotivate healthcare professionals from staying back in India," the petitioner said.

"Thus, the addition of the words after "such other tests" in para (4)(ii) (including the proviso) in the notification dated March 4, 2021, issued by the Respondent No. 1/Union of India, inter alia, violates the substantive legitimate expectation of the petitioner requiring interference of this Court. It is respectfully submitted that the words after "such other tests" in para (4)(ii) (including the proviso) in the notification dated March 4, 2021, issued by the Respondent No. 1/Union of India also fail the test of proportionality," the petitioner said.

Henceforth, the petitioner has sought to declare the words after "such other tests" in para (4)(ii) (including the proviso) in the notification dated March 4, 2021, notified by the respondent Central government in the Gazette of India are unconstitutional and void.

The petitioner has also sought to restrain the respondents from enforcing or giving effect to the words after "such other tests" in para (4)(ii) (including the proviso) in the notification dated March 4, 2021, notified by the Respondent Union of India in the Gazette of India.

The petitioner has sought a direction restraining the respondent National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences from enforcing or giving effect to Clause 3.6 of the Information Bulletin for NEET-SS 2021 Examination issued by it on August 31.
 

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