Madras HC disposes NEET petitions, grants liberty to challenge Centre’s rejection of Tamil Nadu’s Bills

A division bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday disposed of a batch of PILs challenging the applicability of NEET to medical aspirants from Tamil Nadu. When the matter came up before a bench of justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, the petitioners senior counsel R Viduthalai submitted that the Centre should have given reasons for rejecting two Bills of Tamil Nadu seeking exemption from the National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test. Earlier, during the course of hearing of the petitions, the court was apprised of the Centre rejecting the two Bills in September 2017. The bench on Tuesday disposed of the petitions and granted liberty to the petitioners to challenge the order of rejection subject to its maintainability. Aspects, including propriety, illegality or irregularity can be challenged by way of writ petitions subject to relevant requisite factors like maintainability, the court observed. Two bills, seeking exemption from the NEET for medical admissions, were passed unanimously in the State Assembly in February 2017 and forwarded to the Centre for its approval. Initially, the court was told that the bills were merely withheld.Later, the bench was told on July 5 that the bills were denied Presidential assent and were rejected. The petitions from the TN Students-Parents Welfare Association, represented by P B Prince Gajendra Babu and U Mustaffa, prayed for a direction to the state government to complete the procedures for obtaining the Presidential assent for the Bills.