Despite the Madras High Court order to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to stop the process of counselling for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the Medical Council of India (MCI) has decided to continue the process stating that the order had not been issued to the government agency, under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, directly.

On Tuesday, the Madurai bench of Madras High Court said that 24,000 candidates who wrote NEET, the all-India test for MBBS and BDS courses, in Tamil would receive 196 extra marks (out of a total of 720) as the question paper contained translation errors. It also told the CBSE, which organised NEET, to issue a revised ranking list in two weeks and counselling for medical courses was to be suspended till then.

“Neither MCI nor the ministry has received direct orders from the Court in this regard so we have decided to keep the process of counselling on,” said a senior health ministry official in the medical education division.

“The academic session in medical colleges will get delayed if we delay the process of counselling.” Another official said that the MCI and ministry were in touch with the CBSE to “resolve the issue”.

“We are filing a special leave petition in the Supreme Court immediately and are hoping to get a respite,” he added. The official response of CBSE was, however, not very clear and it just said that the Court order was still “being studied before next move is decided.”

Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar said the State government would stand by the students and “safeguard their rights.” Asked why the State hadn’t moved a caveat petition at SC, given the Health Secretary was a respondent, he said as the court direction was to the CBSE, it was not necessary for the State to file a caveat.

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