Too many petitions to implead as party-respondents in a PIL petition against the Tamil Nadu government’s panel on NEET have been filed and might lead to confusion, the Madras High Court observed on Monday. The First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observation when the PIL petition from the BJP State unit general secretary K Nagarajan seeking to quash an order of the State government constituting the high-level committee on NEET came up for hearing today .
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Nagarajan had earlier moved the court against the government constituting the committee led by retired judge of the Madras High Court AK Rajan to study the impact of the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test on aspirants from the socially disadvantaged sections in medical admissions. Major political parties, including the ruling DMK and its allies MDMK, CPM, CPI, VCK and the Dravidar Kazhagam and individual students, have filed the petitions seeking to implead themselves as parties to oppose the BJP’s plea.
The Bench said it would not allow all of them to get impleaded as the same might lead to confusion. Nevertheless, all would be given an opportunity of a hearing since the issue was of some importance and all stakeholders ought to be heard, the Bench said.
Additional Solicitor General R Sankaranarayanan told the Bench that the Center would file its counter affidavit by Tuesday. Advocate-General R Shunmugasundaram submitted that he had already filed a counter and was ready to argue the case.
Representing Nandhini, one of the students seeking to implead in the case, her senior counsel P Wilson said the constitution of the committee was not new and referred to another panel’s recommendations, which led to the 7.5 per cent reservation for government school students in medical admissions . Petitioner’s senior counsel V Raghavachari said the Supreme Court had rejected the arguments against the introduction of NEET. There is resistance to NEET only in Tamil Nadu. It is a political game and it must end, he said.
“You are a political party, so you will always think in political terms,” Wilson alleged. The petitioner had filed the PIL under the garb of a public fascinate litigation petition, but there is no public fascinate. It is a motivated litigation. This is an ideological clash in Tamil Nadu, he said.
Announcing the said panel earlier this month, Chief Minister MK Stalin had said it would analyze if NEET had an adverse impact on students from backward classes and if so, the committee would recommend remedial measures to the government. NEET is opposed to by almost all political parties in Tamil Nadu, including the BJP’s ally AIADMK, even as a few medical aspirants had allegedly ended their lives over the matter either due to poor score in the test, as in the case of S Anitha of Ariyalur, or over fears regarding the qualifying exam.
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