Ensure no more protests over NEET exam: SC to Tamil Nadu

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New Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to prevent any agitation over the NEET examination issue in the state where protests have intensified after the suicide of a Dalit medical aspirant. The apex court also directed the government to prosecute under appropriate law anyone indulging in any activity that creates law and order problem in the state and stalls normal life. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also issued notice to the state seeking its response on a plea which has sought a direction to Tamil Nadu government to maintain law and order and ensure that protests over the death of 17-year-old girl S Anitha do not disrupt normal life.

“As an interim measure, it is directed that it shall be the obligation of the chief secretary and principal secretary of Tamil Nadu to ensure that no agitation takes place in relation to the NEET examination that has been upheld by this court,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said. The bench observed that National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) has already been upheld by the apex court. Anitha had committed suicide on September 1, a week after the top court ruled that medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu will be based on the national admission test.

The court directed that the copy of the petition be served to the standing counsel for Tamil Nadu and fixed the matter for further hearing on September 18.

During the hearing, advocate G S Mani, who is a petitioner in the case, told the bench that protests and

agitations were being carried out by political parties and individuals over the NEET examination and the state should be asked to maintain law and order. Referring to the apex court order, he said the court has already held that medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu would be based on NEET and the state was under the obligation to ensure that normal life of the citizens was not disrupted due to these agitations and protests. Mani said that due to the agitations and roadblocks, normal life of citizens has been jeopardised and people were facing immense difficulty due to this. He also claimed that political parties and individuals cannot be allowed to hold protests against the order passed by the apex court and break law on the streets. The bench directed the chief secretary of the state to ensure that persons involved in any activities which created law and order problem should be booked under the law. The suicide of the girl had led to widespread protests in Tamil Nadu with many protestors being detained. The petitioner has also sought a judicial inquiry into the suicide.

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