The Delhi High Court has said that medical aspirants who have done their Class XII with biology as an additional subject and have qualified the NEET exams will be given admission to MBBS.
A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice A K Chawla held the Medical Council of India’s regulation — that those studying biology/biotechnology as an additional subject at Class XII level were ineligible to participate in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) — as “discriminatory and arbitrary”.
“It is held that the petitioners… all of whom had appeared in NEET and qualified in the entrance examination, and were also successful during counseling but not granted final admission in the allotted seats, awaiting the decision in this proceeding, shall be granted final admission,” the bench said.
Under the January 2018 regulation, candidates who have studied in open school, students who have had biology as an additional subject, those who have taken more than two years to complete their Class XI and XII and those who have studied privately were not eligible to apply for the exam.
The court’s verdict came on a plea by students who have studied biology/biotechnology as additional subjects.
They challenged the regulation, alleging that before prohibiting candidates with biology/biotechnology as an additional subject, MCI has not carried out any groundwork of considering rules and procedures of different state boards. They alleged that the sweeping prohibition was brought in without application of mind.
However, senior counsel Vikas Singh and advocate T Singhdev, appearing for MCI, argued that the NEET system incorporated by the statutory regulations standardises entry of candidates into the field of medical education so that only those with the right aptitude, proficiency and competence gain entry.
The MCI’s contention was not accepted by the High Court, which said: “Lack of any empirical study supporting the MCI’s conclusion — that those who qualify from regular scholastic study in the 10+2 exams with additional subjects of biology/biotechnology either at one go, or after a year, do so without laboratory experience — render Regulation 4 (2) (a) to that extent arbitrary…”