In a decision taken by the Punjab and Haryana high court, the minimum age to take admission in MBBS/BDS courses through the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) should be 17 years.
Justice RK Jain of the high court bench dismissed the plea and said that if a person, below the age of 17 years, is taking the exam, he is just wasting his chances. There are only three chances available for the general category student to appear in NEET.
The decision was made after Kuldeep Singh Malik, a Jind resident, filed a plea on behalf of his son Ranbir Singh Malik challenging the condition where a student must be of minimum 17 years of age at the time of admission. He argued that the Indian Medical Act of 1956 had not prescribed any minimum age. His son was turning 17 in February next year. However, based on a petition that he requested, the court allowed his son to give the NEET-2017 exam that was held on 7th May.
According to the argument by the central government, the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations, the minimum age of 17 years is prescribed. The Centre argued that in the Allahabad high court, a similar plea was made and the regulation was upheld.
Kuldeep Singh Malik requested the court that he should be allowed to withdraw the petition and his son be allowed to get three chances to appear in the exam. But the Centre objected to the plea. The high court declined the plea on the basis of the misrepresentation of facts. However, his son is allowed to give the NEET exam, but he will get only two more chances.
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