UNION OF INDIA Vs. FEDERATION OF SELF-FINANCED AYURVEDIC COLLEGES
LAWS(SC)-2020-2-72
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 20,2020

UNION OF INDIA Appellant
VERSUS
Federation Of Self-Financed Ayurvedic Colleges Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

LALIT CHAUDHARY VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-2021-11-37] [REFERRED TO]
DR. ABHINAV KUMAR VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2022-7-98] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

L.NAGESWARA RAO,J. - (1.)The validity of the Notifications issued by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (hereinafter referred to as, 'the Central Council') and Central Council of Homeopathy prescribing an all-India National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (for short, 'NEET') for admission to Under Graduate courses (BAMS, BUMS, BSMS and BHMS) and minimum qualifying marks in the said examination, arise in the above Appeals and Writ Petitions. These notifications shall apply to admissions for AYUSH Under Graduate courses from the academic year 2019-2020. Similarly, validity of the Notification introducing the AYUSH Post Graduate Entrance Test (AIA-PGET) for admissions to Post Graduate courses (MD-Ayurveda) and prescribing minimum qualifying marks also arises in the above appeals.
(2.)The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (for short, 'AYUSH'), instructed all the State Governments, Union Territories and the Universities concerned to admit students in AYUSH Under Graduate courses for the academic year 2018-2019 only on the basis of merit list of the NEET, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in accordance with the existing rules and reservation policies of the concerned State Governments. A minimum qualifying mark for eligibility to admissions in the Under Graduate courses was prescribed at 50 th percentile. The minimum marks for the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes and Other Backward Classes was prescribed at 40 th percentile. The percentile shall be determined on the basis of marks secured in the all India Common merit list in NEET. Thereafter, by a notification dated 07.12.2018, the Central Council introduced the Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standards of Education in Indian Medicine) Amendment Regulations, 2018 (hereinafter referred to as, 'the 2018 Regulations). The Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standards of Education in Indian Medicine) Regulations, 1986 were amended by the 2018 Regulations. Regulation 2 (d) of the 2018 Regulations provides that there shall be a uniform entrance examination for all medical institutions, namely the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate courses in each academic year and that the NEET examination shall be conducted by an authority designated by the Central Government. The minimum eligibility mark for admission to Under Graduate courses has been prescribed at 50th percentile for General category candidates and 40th percentile for Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes and Other Backward Class candidates. The Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurvedic Education) Amendment Regulations, 2018 were issued making amendments to the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurvedic Education) Regulations, 2016. An all India entrance examination (AIA-PGET), on the lines of the examination prescribed for the Under Graduate courses, was introduced by the said regulations for Post Graduate courses.
(3.)The Guru Ravidas Ayurved University, Hoshiarpur, Punjab issued a prospectus on 31.07.2019 for admission to BAMS, BHMS and BUMS courses prescribing minimum marks in NEET and the criteria for admission to Under Graduate courses. In Civil Writ Petition No.23710 of 2019 filed by the managements of AYUSH colleges, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana passed an interim order on 06.09.2019 permitting admission of students to Under Graduate courses (BAMS, BHMS and BUMS) without insisting on the students getting the minimum requisite percentile in the NEET. Similar orders were passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in other Writ Petitions. All the Writ Petitions filed by the Ayurvedic and Homeopathic colleges were dismissed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana by its judgment dated 18.12.2019. Aggrieved by the said judgment, the Colleges as well as the students filed these Special Leave Petitions before us. There are other SLPs filed by the students seeking admission to Under Graduate courses (BAMS, BUMS and BHMS) for the academic year 2019-2020. Admission were granted to students in the Institutions on the basis of the interim orders of the High Court without insisting on the eligibility criterion fixed by the 2018 Regulations i.e. securing minimum marks in NEET. The Central Council has also filed some SLPs, aggrieved by the interim orders passed by the High Courts permitting admission of students without insisting on the NEET eligibility in Under Graduate as well as Post Graduate courses.
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