Four orders of amendment to the NEET exam at undergraduate and the post graduate level were appealed against. Initially, the questions were raised that MCI and DCI could not have introduced NEET as the same offends the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and the rights of religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice as guaranteed under Article 30 Constitution of India. Thus, subordinate legislation could not have overriding effect over the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 25, 26, 29(1), and 30 of the Constitution of India
1. The MCI issued notifications in exercise of power conferred by Section 33 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (for short, ‘the Act of 1956’). The amendments were made in the Regulation on Graduate Medical Education, 1997.
2. The notifications issued by MCI and DCI providing for NEET were quashed. However, the admissions, which were made, were not interfered with. Review petitions were filed, which were entertained and were ultimately allowed on 11.4.2016, and judgment dated 18.7.2013 was recalled
Articles 25, 26 and 30 of the Indian Constitution
Article 25 – "all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health."
Article 26 – all denominations can manage their own affairs in matters of religion.
Article 30 – the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions. It says: “All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.”
1. The Court held that the choice of institution does not mean that the minorities could establish educational institution for the benefit of their own community people. Every educational institution, irrespective of community to which it belongs, is a 'melting pot' in our national life and that there should be mixing up of students of different communities in all educational institutions.
2. Some system of computing equivalence between different kinds of qualifications like a common entrance test, would not be in violation of the rights conferred. The unaided minority institutions under Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India have the right to admit students, but the merit may be determined by common entrance test and the rights under Article 30(1) is not absolute so as to prevent the Government from making any regulations
3. The Government cannot be prevented from framing regulations that are in national interest. However, the safeguard is that the Government cannot discriminate any minority institution and put them in a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis to other educational institutions and has to maintain the concept of equality in real sense. The minority institutions must be allowed to do what non-minority institutions are permitted
4. This Court observed that the activity of education is neither trade nor profession, i.e., commercialisation and profiteering cannot be permitted. It is open to impose reasonable restrictions in the interest of general public. The education cannot be allowed to be a purely economic activity; it is a welfare activity aimed at achieving more egalitarian and prosperous society to bring out social transformation and upliftment of the nation.
Balancing the rights is constitutional intendment in the national and more enormous public interest. Regulatory measures cannot be said to be exceeding the concept of limited governance. The regulatory measures in question are for the improvement of the public health and is a step, in furtherance of the directive principles. The rights to administer an institution under Article 30 of the Constitution are not above the law and other Constitutional provisions. Reasonable regulatory measures can be provided without violating such rights available under Article 30 of the Constitution to administer an institution.
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