NEET 2017: SC allows candidates above 25 years to appear in exam
Team Careers, 31 Mar 2017, #NEET

A huge legal victory was achieved by medical aspirants across the country on Friday, March 31, as the Supreme Court announced that the age limit of 25 years for appearing in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 has been removed. Apart from removal of the age cap, the window for accepting application forms of NEET 2017 was also re-opened and the last date extended till April 5, 2017.

Admissions Open Now
KIITEEE 2019
Apply now for KIITEE 2019 | 100 Courses | 1 Exam
Apply
MIT School of Bioengineering S..
B.Tech Admissions OPEN @ MIT School of Bioengineering | 300+ Recruiters
Apply

Related Post -
NEET 2019
NEET Eligibility Criteria 2019
NEET Application Form 2019
NEET Admit Card 2019

MBBS Companion 2019

Predict chances in 3000+ colleges, Know All India Counselling & Admission process etc.

Know More

 

A two member SC Bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and AM Khanwilkar pronounced their verdict after a prolonged legal battle between the petitioners rendered ineligible by the NEET 2017 age limit criteria on one side and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Medical Council of India (MCI) on the other. The Bench cited the absence of any notice being issued with regard to regulations framed by the Medical Council of India on the age limit as the primary reason behind passing the verdict in favor of the petitioners. "As we, prima facie, find, such an age limit could not have been determined by way of a notice on the basis of the instructions issued by the Medical Council of India, it is appropriate to direct that all the desirous candidates will be allowed to fill up the forms on the online portal of the CBSE on or before 5.4.2017. Any form submitted beyond 5.4.2017 shall not be accepted," the Bench declared.

 

The long-awaited verdict, which for now will be applicable for NEET 2017, comes after previous adjournements made by the apex Court in the hearings held on February 23, February 27 and March 20. Infact, in the last hearing on March 20, the SC Bench had already instructed the CBSE to allow the petitioners who had filed the case against the age limit along with other intervening applicants the opportunity to fill the NEET 2017 Application Form until the final hearing date of March 31. The Bench had also stated that all aspirants who were unable to approach the Court before the NEET applications last date of March 1 would be allowed to fill the form along with the petitioners if the Court were to strike down the age limit criteria completely. Much to the joy of students, this is exactly what ensued. 

 

Background of the NEET Age Limit Criteria

 

The NEET upper age limit criteria has been in the eye of a storm ever since the CBSE issued its controversial eligibility notification on January 31 this year. The notification, which introduced unexpected changes to the NEET 2017 rules including caps on the number of attempts and a new upper age limit of 25 years (30 years for reserved candidates) disqualified thousands of MBBS/BDS aspirants in one stroke. After protests by student bodies across the country, the CBSE issued a clarification on February 6, revoking the rule on the number of attempts. On February 10, a petition challenging the upper age limit criteria was filed in the Supreme Court by Sabyasachi Rai and other students with the demand that the government roll it back. A similar petition was filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on February 16.

 

Both the Apex Court and the Allahabad High Court had issued notices to the MCI and the Centre to clarify how the NEET upper age limit criteria had been determined, and whether the correct procedure was followed in its introduction. On February 27, a three member bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Misra, Khanwilkar and Mohan M Shantanagoudar had heard the arguments presented by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and decided to adjourn the verdict to March 20. With the NEET applications last date being March 1, students were left confused and frustrated with the constant adjournements, and could only speculate on what the final outcome would be.

 

On March 17, in an unexpectedly pleasant surprise for the petitioners, the MCI informed media persons that it had decided to remove the controversial upper age limit rule for NEET 2017. The MCI said that it was doing this in line with the views of the Supreme Court mandated Oversight Committee on the MCI, headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, which had recommended on February 28 that the age eligibility criteria be removed for the medical entrance. However, the joy of the students was shortlived as just three days later in Court, the MCI performed a bizarre u-turn, declaring that it did not share the Committee’s opinion on the matter and was in favour of letting the age limit remain.

 

Given the MCI’s constant flip-flops on the issue, coupled with the fact that the Court-appointed Lodha Committee had itself recommended the removal of the age limit, the Bench on March 20 granted all petitioners permission to fill applications until the March 31 hearing.

 

Finally, with the Court's March 31 verdict, all candidates above the age of 25 who had applied to NEET 2017 have become eligible to appear for the exam and can fill their application forms until April 5. The CBSE has issued its notice in this regard which can be seen by the candidates below. The final verdict regarding the NEET upper age limit criteria will be given by the Court in July. Even if the SC recommends the re-introduction of the age limit for NEET 2018, atleast the thousands of students who were denied the opportunity to appear for NEET 2017 at the last moment after preparing for so long will be able to appear for the exam this year and not have their time and efforts wasted.

 

SC's final observations

 

While passing its verdict in favour of the students, the Bench acknowledged the difficulties the CBSE could face in re-opening the application forms until April 5. Towards this end, it has directed that the CBSE may take the help of the Collector or Commissioner of any district or city in which it requires logistical support in accepting the forms and holding the exam for the additional students who will now apply for NEET 2017. Dispelling the chances of the legal battle being extended in the lower courts, the SC also stated that even if any High Court were to "pass any order contrary to the present order, the CBSE shall be bound by the order passed by this Court as far as the cut-off date is concerned".

 

NEET 2017 will be conducted on May 7, 2017 in 10 different languages for all aspirants planning to pursue medical courses in government or private colleges of India. The exam will be held in a record 103 cities across India, with 23 new cities being added by the CBSE this year. Candidates may click here to read the latest preparation tips for NEET 2017.

 

NEET 2017 Official Notification for upper age limit

 

This browser does not support embedding PDFs. Please view the pdf here.

 

Admissions Open Now

Manav Rachna International Ins..
Apply
Symbiosis Institute of Busines..
Apply
Banasthali Vidyapith, Banastha..
Apply
Symbiosis Entrance Test SET 20..
Apply
BITSAT 2019
Apply
NMIMS Admissions 2019
Apply
Manipal Academy of Higher Educ..
Apply
View All Application Forms

More like NEET

Questions related to NEET

I passed 12th but I have got more marks additional subject maths than biology. Can I apply neet or aiims .please reply me yes or no

35 Minutes ago

Hii aspirant... You are eligible for applying for NEET/AIIMS as Biology is your compulsory subject.There should be 50 percent marks aggregated in P...

Can anyone tell me about etiolation?

49 Minutes ago

Hello aspirant, Thanks for contacting Careers 360. Etiolation is a condition caused by growth in the absence of light. Characteristics of etiolat...

How much fees A catogery seats

1 Hour ago

As per Government Order 136, Medical and Dental seats in private non- minority Medical and Dental colleges are divided into categories A, B, and C ...

I am born in nashik and studying in tamilnadu from classes9 to 12. My dad is on a transferable job. For which state can I apply for mbbs?

since you've given birth of class 10 and 12 examinations from tamilnadu you should be applying for the state quota of tamilnadu if you would have p...

How to get 500 marks in neet 2020 in one year 2 months special guidelines please

2 Hours ago

Hello aspirant, Thanks for contacting Careers 360. It is easy to score 500+ in NEET if you put efforts. You must be disciplined in your approach. ...

Download the Careers360 App on your Android phone

Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile

Careers360 App
150M+ Students
24,000+ Colleges
500+ Exams
1500+ E-books