In support for many students, the Supreme Court said that a candidate who has secured minimum marks in the NEET UG-2018 shall be qualified for admission to the 1st year BHMS course for the academic year 2018-19.
The eligibility standards for admission to BHMS Degree Course were altered in the month of June 2018 through the information brochure was issued in February 2018. As per the changed criteria, a candidate from the open category will be eligible for admission only if he/she secured not less than the 50th percentile of the marks in NEET-2018. A candidate belonging to the booked category should secure not less than the 40th percentile of the marks which shall be determined on the basis of highest marks secured in the all India common merit list in NEET- 2018.
The writ petition filed by Association of Management of Homeopathic Medical Colleges of Maharashtra against this varied eligibility criteria were dismissed by the Bombay high court.
Nonetheless, in the SLP filed by the Association, the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah, noted that the High Courts of Patna, Karnataka, Madras, Rajasthan, Punjab & Haryana, Allahabad and Calcutta, in writ petitions filed in similar matter, have issued directions were issued in favor of the students permitting admissions on the grounds of the marks in the qualifying examination without reference to the marks secured by them in the NEET UG-2018 examination.
In this respect, the bench said: “Though the last date for admission to the BHMS course was 15th November 2018, we are informed that the last date was extended till 20th December 2018 by the Allahabad High Court. Though there is no agreement on the exact number of vacant seats, it is common ground that there are vacant seats for admission to the 1st year BHMS course in the State of Maharashtra. As there is no uniformity in the matter of admission to the 1st year BHMS course for the year 2018-19, as securing minimum marks in NEET is not required in some States pursuant to orders of the High Courts, we are of the opinion that the Appellants are entitled to the relief of admissions being made without reference to the letter dated 11th June 2018 of Respondent No.1 and the consequential notice of Respondent No.3.”
The court then continued to issue a direction to complete the process of admissions strictly on the basis of the merit by 15th February 2019. The Management of the universities were also directed to hold extra classes for students who will be admitted compatible with this order to comply with the requirements of minimum working days.
However, the court clarified: “This order which is passed in the peculiar facts of the case shall not be treated as a precedent. No opinion is expressed by us regarding the introduction of the minimum percentile as an eligibility criterion in the NEET examination.“