Madras HC asks Centre why NEET can’t be scrapped

The Madras high court on Monday observed that it has almost become impossible to get a medical seat without going to private NEET coaching centres.

It asked the Narendra Modi government at the Centre why the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test cannot be cancelled in light of the impersonation scandal that disrupted it a few months back. “Why can’t the Centre cancel NEET…just like other systems brought by Congress-DMK regime?”

The division bench, comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan, stated this when hearing a PIL after Additional Advocate General P H Aravind Pandian, complying with the court’s October 25 directive, submitted a list of candidates who got admission after attending coaching classes and those without doing so.

“Why can’t the Centre cancel NEET like other systems implemented by the Congress-DMK regime? NEET discriminates against the poor. It is shocking that only those who attended coaching classes, paid as much as Rs. 5 lakh obtain medical seats,” the court observed, adding that NEET was brought in to stop big money in medical admissions.

The court observed it is impossible to get medical college admission without going for private coaching centres to clear the NEET. The court asked how poor students can get admission as only the moneyed class can clear NEET.

Noting that medical college doors are never open for poor, the bench said that unequals are treated as equals by allowing multiple attempts in NEET. It was claimed that the exam was brought in to prevent passing of money to get medical seats. But now, money was passed in other ways through such coaching centres, the bench added.

Last month, the High Court had granted bail to an MBBS student arrested in connection with the scam. However, the court denied bail to his father. On October 4, the High Court said the impersonation fraud could have ramifications across India, and sought a reply from the Centre. The court made the Union health and human resource development ministries parties to the case, saying the fraud may not have been confined to just Tamil Nadu.