NEET 2021: MBBS aspirant pleads for age relaxation, HC rejects plea
NEW DELHI: Finding no substance to reduce the age criteria for MBBS entrance test NEET 2021, the Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea filed by a minor NEET candidate who sought age relaxation to appear in the exam.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that after hearing the petition by the aspirant, the HC had directed the petitioner student to withdraw his plea and challenge the Regulation 4.1 of the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 that have set the age boundaries instead.
The minor student had approached the Delhi High Court and filed a plea through his local guardian seeking directions to be allowed to appear in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) after he was denied filling application for the same for not attaining the minimum age.
Back in 2017 that the University Grants Commission (UGC), in order to bring about greater synchronization of functionality, had reduced the attempts for appearing in the medical entrance exam and also had introduced a age restriction. As per the norms, in order to appear at NEET medical entrance, a candidate needs to be 17 years of age at least.
However, the student petitioner failed to fulfill that requirement as there was a 13-month gap between the petitioner's age and the minimum age required to appear in the examination, i.e. 17.
The student who had passed his Class X examination with 90.2 percent and Class XII exam with 89 percent marks had filed the petition on August 4 and the last date for filing the application form was August 6, which was later extended till August 10.
Although all his classmates were allowed to appear for the entrance examinations for getting admission to the courses of their choice, the petitioner student was denied that privilege for his age.
"Classmates of the petitioner are appearing for NEET-2021 but due to 13 months issue, Petitioner even cannot fill online form for the entrance test," the petitioner said.
According to the ANI report, the petitioner student had urged the court to direct NTA to amend impugned regulation concerned with minimum age criteria of 17 years as of December 2021 for first-year UG medical course for students appearing in the entrance test (NEET-2021) by replacing with 15 years similar to JEE-2021 for UG Engineering courses, as it is ultra vires to Indian Medical Council Act 1956.
The erstwhile Medical Council of India issued an impugned Notification on Graduate Medical Education 1997 concerned with eligible age to appear in the entrance test for MBBS program. In Notification /Regulation, Eligibility Criteria for Admission to the Medical Course in connection with age is mentioned in para point no. 4.1 that "He/she shall complete the age of 17 years on or before 31 st December of the year of admission to the MBBS".
"The requirement of the age of 17 years on or before December 31 of the year of admission to the MBBS is not mentioned in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956," the plea read.
"The Petitioner is a minor citizen of India. The date of birth of Petitioner as per documents is January 26, 2006 That Petitioner is an intelligent student and passed his matriculation in 2019 and class 12 exam in 2021," the plea had added.
The petitioner said that he is suffering a lot mentally and psychologically day by day because he is not able to complete the registration on the website, the petitioner's lawyer argued.
"This shall also be a violation of Fundamental Rights enumerated in Article 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India directly or indirectly for Petitioner citizen who is a student and want to peruse a UG Course in medicine," the petition said.
Now, during the recent deliberation on the petition, the Delhi High Court Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Tuesday while dismissing the plea, said we see no reason to entertain the matter, there are no substances.
"We find no reason to reduce to age criteria," the court held, as quoted by ANI.
The High Court also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on the petitioner.