The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to re-look its order directing the holding of two National Eligibility Entrance Tests (NEET) for admission to under graduate medical courses for 2016-17.
Declining to entertain a plea for re-look at the order, a bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumati said: "The matter has been argued before another bench. The matter is over."
The court said this when a lawyer pointed out to the difficulties that students would face if they are asked to appear for NEET if they are not prepared for it.
The Supreme Court on Friday said that Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct the NEET on May 1 and July 24, for admission to under-graduate medical courses as it had earlier directed.
The court had on April 29 reiterated its order for holding of NEET on May 1 and July 24, even after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi while seeking the modification of its order (passed on April 28) contending that a large number of students who had their schooling in the regional languages not proficient in English will find it difficult to appear in NEET 1 to be held on May 1.
This would be discriminatory, Rohatgi appearing for the central government had said, making a strong plea that the court should allow the exam being conducted by states also.
The first phase of the entrance test will be held tomorrow across the country after the Supreme Court ruling.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, which is conducting a special hearing to deal with pollution in Delhi, did not allow the plea seeking urgent hearing.
Centre had yesterday approached the apex court for modification of its April 28 order and had sought that state governments and private colleges be allowed to hold separate entrance examinations for MBBS and BDS courses for 2016-17 saying there was a lot of confusion arising out of it.
The apex court had in its order cleared the decks for the holding of NEET in two phases for the academic year 2016-17 in which around 6.5 lakh candidates are likely to appear.
It had approved the schedule put before it by the Centre, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI) for treating All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) fixed for May 1 as NEET-1.
It had said those who had not applied for AIPMT will be given the opportunity to appear in NEET-II on July 24 and the combined result would be declared on August 17 so that the admission process can be completed by September 30.
The apex court had pronounced the order after rejecting opposition for holding NEET by states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges, besides minority institutions like CMC, Vellore.
The apex court order had implied that all government colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges would be covered under NEET and those examinations which have already taken place or slated to be conducted separately stand scrapped.
It had also revived the government's December 21, 2010 notification for holding a single common entrance test through NEET with a clarification that any challenge on the issue would directly come before it and no high court can interfere.
The court was of the view that since it recalled its April 11 order, there was no hindrance in holding the NEET.
On April 11, the SC had recalled its verdict scrapping a single common entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in all medical colleges, delivered by then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on the day of his retirement.