New Delhi: A counter affidavit has been filed by the Centre in the Madras High Court stating that the two bills were returned to Tamil Nadu in 2017 that were sent by the state government to the office of President seeking exemption from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The affidavit was filed before a division bench of justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad by deputy secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
As per the affidavit, “The Tamil Nadu Admission to MBBS and BDS Courses Bill,” and “The Tamil Nadu Admission to Post Graduate Courses in Medicine and Dentistry Bill,2017” were placed for consideration of the president in the form of “summary signed by the Union Home Minister on September 11, 2017.”
President withheld his assent for the above bills on September 18, the affidavit stated. They were returned to the state government vide a letter dated September 22, accordingly.
Petitions filed by Tamil Nadu Students Parents Welfare
The issue is related to several petitions that were filed by the Tamil Nadu Students Parents Welfare who seek direction to the state government for completing the processes to obtain the Presidential assent for the bills passed in the state assembly on or before August 15, 2017.
A communication from the ministry that the “Tamil Nadu Admission to MBBS and BDS Courses Bill, 2017” and the “Tamil Nadu Admission to Post Graduate Courses in Medicine and Dentistry” were received on February 20, 2017 by Counsel for the Union government. The Counsel had said that these were withheld by the president on September 18, 2017.
Home ministry informed court about rejection of bills
The home ministry informed the court that the bills had been rejected when the plea came up last week. When clarification was sought by the division bench on whether the bills were withheld or rejected, this was stated by the counsel. The home ministry had been directed by the court to file an affidavit, setting out details of receipt of the bills.
After some students committed suicide allegedly over failure to clear the national level medical entrance exam, Tamil Nadu opposition parties have been demanding to exempt the state from NEET from a long time.