CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed the BJP's plea challenging a committee formed by the Tamil Nadu government to study the impact of NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) that was made mandatory by the Union government for medical admissions. After the DMK came to power winning the recent Assembly polls, it constituted the committee to study the impact of NEET especially on students from socially and economically backward classes.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said that the constitution of the committee by no stretch of imagination can be seen as contrary to the orders of the Supreme Court or the powers of the Union government. The court also stressed that there is nothing to stop an elected government from studying the impact of NEET.
The court also added that the committee does not even pose the remotest challenge to the constitutional right of the Union government to fix standards for higher education.
The issue pertains to the state general secretary of the BJP Karu Nagarajan challenging the constitution of a nine-member committee by the ruling DMK government to study the impact of NEET on socially deprived students.
The petitioner contended that the constitution of the committee headed by retired High Court judge Justice AK Rajan is "arbitrary, illegal, unconstitutional and unreasonable", given the Supreme Court's 2017 order. In earlier hearings on the matter, the High Court had raised questions on the legal validity of the committee and had asked the Union and state government to respond.
The Union government's counsel submitted that the constitution of such a committee by the state government is illegal. However, on Tuesday, hearing the arguments of the BJP's counsel, the court observed that it does not find anything wrong with an elected government studying the impact of the entrance exam and this does not challenge the authority of the Union government. The plea was dismissed by the court.