MCI is not empowered to conduct NEET, says Bench
The Supreme Court on Thursday declared the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) unconstitutional. The Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India (DCI) had introduced the test for admission to graduate and postgraduate courses.
Allowing a batch of petitions, a Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Anil R. Dave and Vikramajit Sen said in a majority 2-1 verdict that the test had the effect of depriving the States, state-run universities and all medical colleges and institutions, including those enjoying the constitutional protection, of their right to admit students to MBBS, BDS and postgraduate courses as per their own procedures, beliefs and dispensations, “which has been found by this court in the T.M.A. Pai Foundation case to be an integral facet of the right to administer.”
Writing the main judgment, the Chief Justice said: “In our view, the role attributed to, and the powers conferred on, the MCI and the DCI under … the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and the Dentists Act, 1948, do not contemplate anything different, and are restricted to laying down standards which are uniformly applicable to all medical colleges and institutions … to ensure the excellence of medical education …”
The Bench said: “The role assigned to the MCI under Sections 10A and 19A (1) of the 1956 Act vindicates such a conclusion. As an offshoot …, we … have no hesitation in holding that the Medical Council …
Medical Council of India is not empowered to conduct NEET,