Boutique Litigation Law Firm - Retain Lawyers - Research based Law Firm - Complete legal services

NEET not impinges upon rights of Minority Institutions to administer Medical & Dental College, the SC observes it not in infraction of the Constitution

The SC on April 29, 2020 {CHRISTIAN MEDICAL COLLEGE VELLORE ASSOCIATION v. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS} held that the individual autonomy, rights, and obligations are to be free from official interference except where the rational basis for intrusion exists. It was held that the Constitution   provides a   limitation   on   the   power   of   the   State   to interfere with life, liberty, and rights, however, the concept of limited government cannot be extended to a level when it defeats the very national   interest.   The Court held that the   maladies   with   which   professional   education suffers   in   this   country   are   writ   large.   It was observed that the   regulatory   framework created by the MCI/ DCI is concomitant of conditions, affiliation and recognition, and providing central examination in the form of NEET cannot be said to be violative of the rights under Articles 19(1)(g) and 30. It was held that the regulatory framework   is   not restrictive,   but caters   to   the effective   enjoyment   of   the   rights   conferred   under   the   aforesaid provisions. It was held that the   provisions qualify   the   doctrine   of   proportionality considered in Modern Dental College and Research Centre and Ors. v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors., (2016) 7 SCC 353. It was held that what has been held therein for State level examination holds good for NEET also.

The SC Bench, comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Vineet Saran and Justice M R Shah, observed that certain colleges have produced doctors of renowned fame, and they are an asset for India. It was held that there is no doubt about it that doctors of international fame have been produced by various institutions. It was held that they are an asset not only for India but also for the entire humanity.   They are pioneers in various fields of medical science such as Oncology, Surgery, and other branches of medical science.   The Court observed but, when it comes to the eradication of the malpractices that have crept into the system, it has to take into consideration larger interest of the education countrywide.   It was held that the NEET has been prescribed by the Legislature in the larger public interest that has to prevail. It was held that   the   provisions   to   be   reasonable   conditions   of recognition/ affiliation are binding for the very existence of all such institution whether they are run by majority or minority failing which they   cannot   exists   and   impart   education. It was held that the   conditions   are reasonable   and   cannot   be   said   to   be   taking   away   any   of   the constitutional rights of minority institutions, they are reasonable, fair and   intended   to   bring   transparency   in   the   professional   education imparted by institutions. It was held that they are applicable for all institutions alike minorities are not placed on a disadvantageous platform.



In the present case, it was the case of the petitioners, that vires of the provisions of Maharasthra   Unaided   Private   Professional   Educational   Institution (Regulation   of   Admissions   &   Fees)   Act,   2015,   applying   them to Unaided Private Minority Professional Educational Institutions are bad in   law. The said provisions   had   been questioned   on   the   ground   that   they   cannot   take   away   the   rights guaranteed under Articles 19(1)(g) and 30 read with Articles 25, 26 and 29(1) of the Constitution of India.

The   primary   issue, therefore, before the SC  was   whether   by   providing   centralized examination system – NEET for admission to MBBS, PG, BDS and MDS by virtue of the provisions made in the Act and regulations, there is violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 19(1)(g), 25, 26, 29(1) and 30 of the Constitution of India.


It was held by the SC that in view of the law laid down in T.M.A. Pai Foundation and Ors. v. State of Karnataka and Ors., (2002) 8 SCC 481, it is   apparent   that   NEET/common   entrance   test   is   a   devise   to standardise   and   computing equivalence   between   different kinds   of qualifications.   It was held that it does not interfere with the rights of the unaided minority   institutions   as   it   has   been   imposed   in   national   interest considering the malpractices of granting illegal admission by virtually selling the seats in derogation to rights of meritorious students. The Court held that the charitable   activity of education became   a saleable   commodity and prerogative of wealthy persons and poor students were forced to get education funded from Banks making it difficult for them to come out of tentacular octave of interest. They are exploited in bud before they bloom into flower. It was held that the   ill­-reputation   developed   by MCI forced   to change its entire structure. It was held that the national interest requires further improvement in the system to eradicate evils from the system.   The situation is still grim and require to be dealt with firm hand and steely determination.

It was, thus, held by the Court that there is no violation of the provisions as argued   by   appellants,   rather   action   is   in   furtherance   of   the constitutional aims and directions to achieve intendment of Article 51A(j) and is in the national interest.

The Court held that rights under Articles 19(1)(g) and 30 read with Articles 25, 26 and 29(1) of the Constitution of India do not come in the way of securing transparency and recognition of merits in the matter of admissions. It was held that it is open to regulating the course of study, qualifications for ensuring educational standards. It was further held that is open to imposing reasonable restrictions in the national and public interest. It was held that the rights under Article 19(1)(g) are not absolute and are subject to reasonable restriction in the interest of the student's community to promote merit, recognition of excellence, and to curb the malpractices. It was held that Uniform   Entrance   Test   qualifies   the   test   of   proportionality   and   is reasonable. The Court held that the same is intended to check several maladies which crept into medical education, to prevent capitation fee by admitting students   which   are   lower   in   merit   and   to   prevent   exploitation, profiteering, and commercialisation of education. The Court held that the institution has to be a capable vehicle of education.   It was observed that the minority institutions are equally   bound   to   comply   with   the   conditions   imposed   under   the relevant   Acts   and   Regulations   to   enjoy   affiliation   and   recognition, which apply to all institutions. It was held that in case they have to impart education, they   are   bound   to   comply   with   the   conditions   which   are   equally applicable to all. It was held that the regulations are necessary, and they are not divisive   or   disintegrative. It was observed that such   regulatory   measures   enable institutions to administer them efficiently. It was held that there is no right given to maladminister the education derogatory to the national interest. The Court held that the quality of medical education is imperative to sub­serve the national interest, and the merit cannot be compromised. It was held that the Government has the right for providing regulatory measures that are in the national interest, more so in view of Article 19(6) of the Constitution of India.

The Court held that the rights of the religious or linguistic minorities under Article 30 are not in conflict with other parts of the Constitution. It was observed that balancing the   rights   is   constitutional   intendment   in   the   national   and   more enormous public interest. It was held that regulatory measures cannot be said to be exceeding the concept of limited governance. It was observed that the regulatory measures in question are for the improvement of the public health and is a step, in furtherance of the directive principles enshrined in Articles 47 and 51(A)(j)   and enable the individual by providing full opportunity in pursuance of his objective to excel in his pursuit.   It was held that the rights to administer an institution under Article 30 of the Constitution are not above   the   law   and   other   Constitutional   provisions. It was further held that reasonable regulatory measures can be provided without violating such rights available   under   Article   30   of   the   Constitution   to   administer   an institution. It was held that professional educational institutions constitute a class by themselves. The Court held that specific measures to make the administration of such institutions transparent can be imposed. It was held that the rights available under Article 30 are not violated by provisions carved out in Section 10D of the   MCI   Act   and   the   Dentists   Act   and   Regulations   framed   by MCI/DCI.  It was held that the regulatory measures are intended for the proper functioning   of   institutions   and   to   ensure   that   the   standard   of education is maintained and does not fall low under the guise of an exclusive right of management to the extent of maladministration. The Court held that the regulatory measures by prescribing NEET is to bring the education within the realm of charity which character it has lost. It was held that it intends to weed   out   evils   from   the   system   and   various   malpractices   which decayed the system. It was, therefore, held that the regulatory measures in no way interfere with the rights to administer the institution by the religious or linguistic minorities.

Resultantly, the Court concluded that there is no violation of the rights of the unaided/aided minority to administer institutions under Articles 19(1) (g) and 30 read with Articles 25, 26 and 29(1) of the Constitution of India by prescribing the uniform examination of NEET for admissions in the graduate and postgraduate professional courses of medical as well   as   dental   science.    It was held that  the   provisions   of the   Act   and   regulation cannot be said to be ultra vires or taking away the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India under Article 30(1) read with Articles 19(1)(g), 14, 25, 26 and 29(1).   Accordingly, the transferred cases, appeal, and writ petitions were dismissed by the SC.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published