SC Allows Candidates Aged 25 Years And Above To Provisionally Appear In NEET-UG 2019 Examination [Read Order]
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the candidates who are 25 years of age and above to apply and appear in the NEET-UG 2019 examination.
The bench comprising Justice SA Bobde, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice R. Subhash Reddy issued the following interim order in the Special Leave Petitions filed against a Delhi High Court judgment.
“The petitioners/candidates who are 25 years of age and above shall be entitled to apply and appear in the NEET-UG 2019 examination. If they are allowed to appear in the said examination, they shall take the examination provisionally subject to the final outcome of these matters.”
Issuing notice to National Testing Agency, the bench said that the portal of the National Testing Agency shall remain open for one week to enable such candidates to apply for the NEET-UG 2019 examination.
The bench has posted this matter in January 2019 for further hearing.
The NEET Regulations had fixed the upper age limit as 25 years for candidates appearing for National Eligibility Entrance Test and seeking admission to programme. The Delhi High Court had dismissed the challenge against this age limit fixed.
While upholding the age stipulation, the High court had observed: “Need to put the upper age limit was necessary as there are approximately 61000 seats for MBBS course in government and private medical colleges in the country. There has to be a level playing field for selection amongst lakhs of candidates who appear every year (in 2017, about 11 Lakh candidates had appeared). It is obvious that a candidate who is 17 or 18 years of age will find it difficult to compete with a candidate who is above 26/31 years of age and has been studying for last 7 to 10 years or even more only to get admission to an MBBS course.”
The Court also had remarked: “There is also need to ensure that candidates from young age group get admission to medical colleges so that they bloom and groom themselves into experts and specialists who can render medical services over a long period of time.”
Senior Advocates Raju Ramachandran,Sanjay Hegde, PN Ravindran and Advocates Zoheb Hussain, Mukund P Unni appeared for the petitioners.Read the Order Here