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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Entrance Case on March 27th

As per Hindu in

The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to hear on March 27, the Tamil Nadu Government's special leave petition challenging a Madras High Court judgment quashing the legislation scrapping the Common Entrance Test for admission to undergraduate professional courses for 2006-2007.

Appearing for the State before a Bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice A.K. Mathur, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi sought early listing of the petition, saying the appeal required examination as the Act scrapping the CET had been struck down by the High Court. Three weeks' time was required to hold the CET and the matter might be listed for hearing on March 10.

The Bench declined early listing and said: "Let it come in the normal course for hearing on March 27."

Senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram and K.M. Vijayan, who had appeared in the High Court for the petitioners, were present in the court ready to oppose if the matter was taken up on Wednesday.

Move justified

Assailing the judgment, the petition stated that Tamil Nadu Regulation of Admission in Professional Courses Act, 2006 dispensing with the CET for State Board students, was enacted under Article 15 (5) of the Constitution.

Considering the representations from the public, the Government enacted the law under which State Board students need not appear for the CET.

Instead, students from other Boards such as the CBSE needed to take a CET to bring them on a par with the State Board students.

The High Court had erred in holding that the legislation impinged on the field occupied by the Central law, i.e. MCI and AICTE Regulations.

Further, it failed to appreciate that to establish that the rural students were socially and economically backward, a high-level committee was constituted and found that urban students had advantage in the CET over rural students.

Minuscule section

It must be noted that in Tamil Nadu, only one per cent of the students who appeared for the CET belonged to non-State Board and 99 per cent of the students belonged to the State Board.

Therefore, the High Court ought to have seen that to achieve status on a par with State Board students, it would be possible to conduct a CET for other Board students.

Contending that important questions of law of public importance were involved, the petition sought quashing of the judgment and an interim stay on its operation.

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