Raveendran: how can approval be granted for regulation, yet to be notified?

The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear to the Medical Council of India that it could not grant approval for the proposal to introduce a common nationwide eligibility-cum-entrance test for MBBS and postgraduate courses from 2011-12 even before the regulations were notified.

A Bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik, in a brief order, said the pendency of the matter in the court would not, however, come in the way of the MCI notifying any rule in accordance with law if it had been approved by the Centre. Nor would the pendency stand in the way of anyone (affected party) challenging the validity of the regulation after it was notified.

Appearing for the MCI, senior counsel Amarendra Saran said a national eligibility-cum-entrance test would ensure transparency and prevent irregularities in admissions.

At this, Justice Raveendran said: “You want this court to give the seal of approval for a regulation which is not notified. The scheme has to come, it has to be challenged, we will have to hear the States and other parties and go into its validity and then decide whether the rule is valid or not. How can we grant approval for a regulation which is yet to be notified? You notify the rule, we will consider if it is challenged.”

Senior counsel Ashok Desai, appearing for Tamil Nadu said the State had already enacted a law abolishing the Common Entrance Test and the issue of CET could not be decided on a petition filed by some students.

Counsel A.D.N. Rao, appearing for the main petitioners Simran Jain and others, said many States had already opposed the move to have a CET. He, however, said the common test would help students.

The D.D. Medical and Educational Trust, represented by its chairman and managing trustee T.D. Naidu; the Christian Medical College, Vellore, and some other colleges had filed intervention applications. The Bench said it would be open to them to challenge the notification, once it was issued, if they were aggrieved.