New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for implementation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to MBBS, BDS and post-graduate courses in all medical colleges, while also setting aside its earlier order.
The apex court passed its order after hearing a review petition filed by Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) seeking review of its judgement scrapping the NEET.
In today's order, the five judges were unanimous in saying that the July 18, 2013 verdict of the three-judge bench, which had paved the way for private colleges to conduct their own examination, "needs reconsideration" as "the majority view has not taken into consideration some binding precedents".
"Suffice it is to mention that the majority view has not taken into consideration some binding precedents and more particularly, we find that there was no discussion among the members of the Bench before pronouncement of the judgment," the apex court said.
"We, therefore, allow these review petitions and recall the judgment dated July 18, 2013 and direct that the matters be heard afresh. The review petitions stand disposed of as allowed," it said.
In 2013, the apex court had quashed the notification for the single common entrance test on the ground that it violated the rights of private institutions to administer such institutions.
The judgement quashing the NEET was delivered by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir (now retired) by a 2-1 division.
The view of the then CJI was shared by Justice Vikramjit Sen, while Justice AR Dave had dissented and upheld the NEET, saying the policy was "legal" as it would stop corrupt practice which enabled undeserving students to get admissions by paying huge capitation fees or donations.
"The NEET regulations are restored and MCI (Medical Council of India) can conduct the examinations pending the fresh judgement," sources in the Union Health Ministry said about the implication of the order delivered by a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice AR Dave.
The MCI counsel also said the 2011 notification has been "revived" but the call has to be taken by the Centre and MCI on how it will proceed with the medical enterances scheduled in May for the current academic year.
(With PTI inputs)