When Supreme Court recalled its own order on medical entrance test

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In a landmark development, Supreme Court on Monday recalled its own judgement scrapping single common entrance test (NEET) for admission to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges, saying it was delivered by a majority verdict without any discussion among members of the bench headed by then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on the day of his retirement.

As reported by news agency Press Trust of India, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice A R Dave were unanimous in saying that the 18 July, 2013, 2:1 verdict of the three-judge bench, which had paved the way for private colleges to conduct their own examination, “needs reconsideration” as “the majority view has not taken into consideration some binding precedents”.

“Suffice it is to mention that the majority view has not taken into consideration some binding precedents and more particularly, we find that there was no discussion among the members of the Bench before pronouncement of the judgment,” the apex court said.

“We, therefore, allow these review petitions and recall the judgment dated July 18, 2013 and direct that the matters be heard afresh. The review petitions stand disposed of as allowed,” it said.

Justice Dave in the 2013 verdict had given a dissenting verdict, while Justice Vikramjit Sen (since retired) had shared the views and findings of then CJI Kabir on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The verdict, delivered on the day when CJI Kabir demitted office, had created a buzz in the apex court corridors as an advocate had posted on a social networking site about the outcome in advance.

Interestingly, Justice Dave then too in his dissenting judgement had said the three judges of the bench “had no discussion on the subject due to paucity of time” which is normally done.

Allowing the petitions seeking review of the controversial 2013 judgement, the bench also comprising justices A K Sikri, R K Agrawal, Adarsh Kumar Goel and R Banumathi ordered the petitions filed by Christian Medical College, Vellore and others, on which the verdict was delivered, “be heard afresh”.

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