Tamil Nadu

Switching quota categories not possible, NTA tells HC

Medical seat aspirants must be doubly careful at the time of filling up applications for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). They cannot expect courts to condone their mistakes, such as a wrong mention about community status, after the publication of the rank list, the Madras High Court has said.

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh said, “It is high time that the candidates be made to own up for the mistakes committed by them. It is true that it will have an adverse effect on their aspiration but somewhere the line has to be drawn by the courts.” The observation was made while dismissing a batch of cases.

All the writ petitioners before the court stated that they had wrongly claimed to be falling under the Unreserved Category in their online applications though they should have been actually accommodated under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category on the basis of community certificates in their possession and provided corresponding reservations in allotment of seats.

However, the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts NEET, told the court that the writ petitions should not be entertained since the candidates had been given as many as eight opportunities between January and September to make corrections, if any, to their applications. It complained that the petitioners had not utilised any of those opportunities.

The NTA also accused the petitioners of suddenly trying to get reservations under OBC category after finding that they were lagging behind in the rank list published on October 16. Stating that as many as 13.67 lakh candidates had appeared for NEET this year, the agency said any change at this moment on the basis of communal reservations would affect the entire rank list.

It was also brought to the notice of the court that NTA had completed its job for the year by handing over the rank list to the Director General of Health Services on October 26. Therefore, it was absolutely impossible to make any changes to the communal status of the writ petitioners, the agency said.

Accepting the submissions made through its standing counsel G. Nagarajan, the judge said: “Courts cannot keep on condoning the mistakes year after year and somewhere the courts must close the gate and stop interfering in cases of this nature. Any directions issued by this court results in overburdening the authorities to redo the entire exercise for the mistakes committed by some candidates.”

He added: “Considering the volume of applications received by the Testing Agency and the work of preparing the rank list, it will not be fair to make the agency undertake the exercise of preparing the rank list all over again. Such directions will also affect the rights of the other candidates who are participating in the same selection after giving the correct particulars.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 4:01:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/switching-quota-categories-not-possible-nta-tells-hc/article33217113.ece

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