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Madras High Court Seeks Response From State Gov, DMK On PIL Seeking Compensation For 'False Promises' Made By State Gov On NEET

Aaratrika Bhaumik
20 Oct 2021 2:09 PM GMT
Madras High Court Seeks Response From State Gov, DMK On PIL Seeking Compensation For False Promises Made By State Gov On NEET
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The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking compensation for students who had been adversely affected on account of the "false promises" made by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led State government regarding the 'cancellation' of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil Nadu. ...

The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking compensation for students who had been adversely affected on account of the "false promises" made by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led State government regarding the 'cancellation' of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil Nadu.

The petition moved by one, KS Vetrivel also sought directions to restrain the State government authorities from issuing any further public statement regarding the cancellation or anticipated cancellation of NEET until the petition is decided.

A Bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and K Murali Shankar on Wednesday issued notice in the matter. The Bench also directed the DMK party to file its response to the plea.

The plea contended that Chief Minister MK Stalin and other members of the ruling party had given a clear assurance to the students that once the DMK government assumes power, a total ban on NEET would follow along with a separate State Education Policy.

"It is submitted that the student community were given a clear assurance by the present Chief Minister and the members of the Ruling Party that the first signature of the newly formed Government after May 7th 2021 would be to scrap NEET Examination. However, in last week of June, 2021 and the first week of July, 2021, the Health Minister of the State Thiru.Ma Subramanian made shocking announcements in the Press that-"DMK's stance on scrapping NEET is final. There's no two ways about it. We are hell bent on scrapping it. However, right now, we do not have legal support for this and we are fighting in court to get it scrapped. However, students need to take their NEET lessons", the plea read. 

Advocate Naveen Kumar Murthi appearing for the petitioner submitted before the Court on Wednesday that several young students have died by suicide in the recent past due to the irresponsible conduct of the ruling DMK government.

Averments in the plea

Objecting to such 'false promises' being made by the State government, the petitioner contended,

"It is high time that the present Government stop making false promises to innocent students, stop making any public announcements in the Legislative Assembly by the Government as well as the representatives of DMK with regard to scraping of NEET which stops creating false hopes among the medical aspirants till a conclusive and viable solution is arrived at finally"

This was done despite knowing that the validity of NEET was upheld by the Supreme Court, it was further argued.

Referring further to the announcement made by the Health Minister of the State, the petitioner contended that such as announcement came as a 'rude shock' to the entire student community.

"This announcement came as a rude shock to the entire student community and several students were very disturbed mentally and psychologically due to the sudden change of the stand of the Government. This in turn created extreme stress among the medical aspirants due to the false statements made by the present Government", it was contended further.

These public statements created wide confusion as well as a legitimate expectation that NEET would not be conducted in the present academic year due to which many students concentrated on getting better marks in their +2 Examinations alone and did not prepare well for NEET, it was submitted further.

The petitioner also highlighted that many medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu have died by suicide over the years due to stress they are undergoing.

"NEET examination for the year 2021 was conducted on 12.09.2021 and owing to the false promises made by the present Government which led to many confusions among students which resulted in enormous stress faced by the medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu and 3 students took an extreme step by taking their own lives for which the present Government and the members of DMK party are solely responsible", it was alleged further.

Reliance was also placed on the recent Delhi High Court judgment in Najma v. Government of NCT, Delhi wherein the Court had stated that promises made by the Chief Minster to the public is enforeceable since it creates a legitimate expectation in the minds of the public. 

"It is the bounden duty of these high ranking functionaries or Ministers, MP's and MLAs to make realistic and truthful promises and not make fallacious and impossible promises that too at the cost of affecting young children who are yet to understand the implications", the petitioner argued further.

Accordingly, the following reliefs were sought before the High Court, 

• The DMK-led State government should compensate the families of students who took their own life by paying an amount of Rs.1 crore. Further it is prayed that Rs. 5 lakhs should be paid as compensation by the State for students undergoing the stress, depression or whose mental health has been affected by the DMK government's promises on NEET.

• The Court has also been urged to restrain the State government and the DMK from making any further reckless and baseless statements for political mileage regarding the cancellation or anticipated cancellation of NEET until the present petition is disposed of.

Case Title: KS Vetrivel v. State of Tamil Nadu

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