New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the state government of Tamil Nadu to ensure that the law and order situation remains under control in the aftermath of public protests against the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
Issuing a notice to the state, the court held that no protest should take place in opposition to NEET and asked the state secretary and home secretary to take stock of the situation.
Directing the state government, a bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra said, “Action must be taken against those disrupting normal life".
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a judicial inquiry into the death of S. Anitha, a 17-year-old Dalit girl who had waged a legal battle against NEET and committed suicide on 2 September after she failed to clear the exam.
The plea also sought to check the law and order situation in the state on account of widespread protests disrupting normal life.
Tamil Nadu and other states have been opposing NEET being the sole basis for medical college admissions on grounds that it favoured Central Board of Secondary Education students, and had sought an exemption from the entrance test.
After Anitha’s death, student organizations have staged protests in Chennai, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Krishnagiri, Trichy, Perambalur, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam.
Anitha had an impressive 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in Class XII board examinations and had a 196.75 cut-off for a medical seat, as per the state education department’s evaluation.
However, with NEET being made compulsory for admissions to medical courses, she was unable to get an MBBS seat.