J. Venkatesan

Seeking protection of Central forces to conduct Common Entrance Test

Apex court bench posts the case for

further hearing on July 23

Association alleges that protests were

stage-managed by the Government

New Delhi: The Kerala Private Medical Colleges Managements Association on Friday moved the Supreme Court for a directive to the Centre to provide Central Government security forces for conducting its Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to four private medical colleges in the State for 2007-2008.

When the application came up for hearing before a Bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice P.P. Naolekar, it pointed out that though the prayer had been sought against the Centre, it had not been impleaded as a party.

Accordingly, the Bench directed impleadment of the Union Home Secretary and posted the matter for further hearing on July 23.

Appearing for the Association, senior counsel Rohinton Nariman submitted that the Association could not conduct its CET on two occasions due to “State-sponsored terrorism,” as students affiliated to the communist unions prevented holding of the CET and police remained mute spectators. He said Central forces could be provided for holding the CET.

Senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan brought to the notice of the court that the Association’s main writ petition was still pending and that it had come on appeal against the interlocutory order. The Bench told the counsel: “The Association has a right to conduct a CET and it is the State’s duty to see that the CET was conducted properly.”

The applicant said that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government through its student organisations, the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), had publicly protested against the Association conducting the CET and thus created political unrest in the State. They had announced that the CET would not be allowed to be conducted.

The applicant was forced to cancel the CET on June 23 after the activists of the SFI and All India Students Federation (AISF) disrupted the conduct of the test. It alleged that the police had left the venue of the test at 7.45 a.m. before the arrival of the student activists and it looked as if it was stage-managed by the Government.

Hence the Association prayed for providing Central police forces to conduct the entrance test in the interests of the students and their parents.

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