NEET: The NTA should consider accommodating candidates without SC/ST certificates as of the application deadline - Supreme Court

NEET: The NTA should consider accommodating candidates without SC/ST certificates as of the application deadline – Supreme Court

The Supreme Court suggested on Friday that the National Testing Agency accommodate pupils from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories who did not have SC/ST certificates as of the application deadline for NET examinations.

The bench of Justices Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar was hearing a writ petition filed by a candidate who lacked an ST certificate when they filled out the NEET application. Therefore, she was required to register as a General candidate. Eventually, she received the certificate, but her request to be considered ST was denied.

The NTA’s attorney argued that the entire merit list will be affected if relief is granted at this juncture. “You must adopt their point of view. The certificate only serves as proof of the status. You must implement it accurately. You can add columns such as the date the certificate was obtained and others. So that they can receive benefits when completing the form,” said Justice Bhat.

“NTA should consider appropriately accommodating cases in which SC and ST applicants lack the certificate as of the application deadline,” Justice Bhat stated orally. The Supreme Court issued notice to NTA, the organisation responsible for administering the NET examination, and set the matter for a hearing in two weeks.

The petitioner requested the ST certificate on December 10, 2022. However, she did not receive it until March 16, 2023, the deadline for submitting the form. Therefore, she presented herself as a general candidate. She obtained her ST certification in July 2023. The results of the NEET examination have been released.

The petitioner desired to be considered an ST candidate. Her request was denied by those who responded. Infuriated by the denial, the petitioner has filed a complaint with the Supreme Court.

Case title: Saranya Mandal v. Union Of India And Ors.

Citation: W.P.(C) No. 710/2023 PIL-W

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