Published: 17th June 2021
Karnataka HC refuses to interfere with central govt's decision to postpone NEET
The court said the decision of the Union government to postpone NEET could not be faulted
Declining to interfere with the Union government's decision to hold NEET beyond August 31, 2021, due to the pandemic, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a public interest litigation questioning the decision.
A division bench of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Hanchate Sanjeevkumar dismissed the petition filed by Late GB Kulkarni Memorial Legal Trust, represented by president Dr Vinod G Kulkarni from Hubballi. Kulkarni, who is consulting neuropsychiatrist and lawyer, moved the court seeking direction to the State and Central governments to ensure that NEET should not be postponed for a period of four months, from the earlier stipulated date of April 18, 2021.
The petitioner claimed that on account of postponement of NEET, doctors and aspirants for postgraduate studies are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression as their plans to study have been unsettled. When all other examinations are being conducted during the current pandemic, there was no reason to postpone NEET, he argued. In a counter, justifying the Union government's decision, Assistant Solicitor General MB Naragund submitted that NEET aspirants, those doing internships as well as final year MBBS and nursing students have been recruited to assist doctors in attending to COVID-19 patients, owing to the severe nature of the pandemic. They would require time to prepare for the test. Hence, it was decided to postpone the exam. The new date will be notified, giving sufficient time to prepare for the test, he argued.
Recording this submission, the court said the decision of the Union government to hold NEET after August 31, 2021, cannot be faulted, as the decision would have been taken on the basis of the opinion of experts.