The Punjab and Haryana high court has held that a student should be 17 years old to take the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS/BDS courses.
The high court bench of justice RK Jain, while dismissing the plea of a Jind resident, Ranbir Singh Malik, said that a candidate taking the exam without attaining the age of 17 would only be exhausting his chances.
A general category candidate gets three chances to appear in NEET.
In his plea filed on behalf of his minor son, Kuldeep Singh Malik challenged a condition that said the candidate must have completed 17 years at the time of admission. No minimum age had been prescribed in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, he argued.
His son will turn 17 in February 2018.
Earlier, on the request of the petitioner, the court allowed his son to fill the online application for NEET-2017, held on May 7.
The central government argued that the minimum age of 17 years was prescribed under the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulation.
The Centre also referred to similar controversy before the Allahabad high court in which the regulation was upheld.
The petitioner’s father pleaded that he be allowed to withdraw the petition and his son be permitted to avail three chances to appear in future. But as the Centre objected to it, the high court declined to accept the plea and observed that his son was allowed to appear in NEET, but for the same he had misrepresented facts. Hence, he could avail only two chances more, the court said.