The Punjab & Haryana high court upholds minimum age limit of 17 Years for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS/ BDS courses. A general category candidate gets three chances to appear in NEET.
The High Court was hearing a petition filed by a minor Kuldeep Singh Malik, through his father Ranbir Singh Malik against the Union Government and other respondents. The Petitioner was supposed to complete 17 years of age in February 2018. He had challenged an eligibility criterion which prescribed that the candidate must have completed 17 years of age at the time of admission or by December 31, 2017. The petitioner will turn 17 in February 2018, but this was not accepted as the minimum age of 17 must be attained before appearing for the NEET exam.
A bench of Justice was told that no minimum age had been prescribed in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The Court noted that the Petitioner's contentions were "fallacious", as a minimum age limit of 17 years is mentioned under Regulation 4(1) of the Medical Council of India Regulation on Graduate Medical Education, 1997, as framed in accordance with Section 33 of the Act.
During the proceedings, the Petitioner had been allowed to fill the online/ manual application for NEET-2017 which was held on May 7, subject to the outcome of the Petition. He had now pleaded to withdraw the Petition, and avail three chances to appear in NEET.
The Petitioner demanded that the chance taken by him under the court order, may not be counted. The counsel for the petitioner pleaded that he gets three chances to appear in NEET. But Court refused his appeal saying that the contention of the petitioner was totally fallacious and there is no merit in the present petition.
High Court has also ordered that since once chance has already been availed by the petitioner by misrepresenting the facts in eyes of law, thus he would be allowed to avail only two chances more. Moreover, the court has ordered that result of the first attempt need not be declared as he was underage. Thus, Minimum age to appear for NEET for admission to MBBS/ BDS courses is 17 years.