The Supreme Court has asked Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to declare NEET results for admission to MBBS and BDS courses. The order has brought a relief to more than 12 lakh medical aspirants. In doing this, the Supreme Court put a stay on Madras High Court order restraining publication of results.
The apex court directed the concerned authorities to go ahead with the admission process, starting with declaring the results.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, appearing for the CBSE, told the bench that the NEET results and the admission process were stalled because the high court’s order was in conflict with the schedule fixed by the apex court earlier.
The order came on a plea by the CBSE and others challenging the May 24 order of the Madras High Court which had restrained the Board from publishing NEET 2017 results.
The bench observed that the high court’s order was “indirectly diluting the schedule” fixed by the apex court.
“On one ground we are inclined to stay the high court’s order. What indirectly this order is doing is that it is diluting the schedule fixed by the Supreme Court,” the bench said while staying the high court’s order.
“In view of the above, the interim order is stayed and it is directed that the authorities concerned will proceed further with declaration of results for the NEET 2017 examination subject to decision of this court,” the bench said while listing the matter for further proceedings after summer vacation.
The bench requested all the high courts not to entertain any petitions and said the declaration of results as well as the subsequent counselling and admission will be subject to the decision of the apex court in the matter pending before it.
The CBSE had on June 9 moved the Supreme Court seeking an immediate stay on the Madras High Court order. This after the high court had on May 24 granted interim stay on the publication of NEET results on a batch of pleas alleging that a uniform question paper was not given in the examination and there was a vast difference between the ones in English and in Tamil.
Earlier, ASG Singh had told the apex court that out of 12 lakh aspirants who appeared in the NEET 2017, around 10.5 lakh students had given the exam in either Hindi or English while around 1.25 lakh to about 1.50 lakh students had appeared in eight vernacular languages. He also argued that a number of pleas had been filed in various high courts in NEET-related matters and the high courts had entertained those petitions despite the apex court’s order that no other court shall hear such matters.
He had also sought transfer of petitions from various high courts to the apex court for matters relating to NEET for the academic year 2017-18.
Singh argued that the different sets of questions in vernacular languages (not English or Hindi) had the same level of difficulty, according to experts.
The questions were different to keep the larger interest protected on the ground that if there was a leakage of a set of paper in a vernacular language, the majority of students would be protected as candidates appearing in any particular language were less than those opting for English or Hindi, Singh told the court.
The petitioners before the high court demanded that the NEET 2017 be cancelled and a fresh exam with a uniform question paper be conducted. The Madras high court had also directed the Medical Council of India, the director of CBSE and the Union Health Ministry to file counter affidavits on these pleas pending before it.
(With inputs from PTI)