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Supreme Court rejects plea against Tamil Nadu's NEET signature campaign, highlights student awareness of political motives

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      02 January, 2024 03:17 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Rejects Plea Against Tamil Nadu's NEET Signature Campaign, Highlights Student Awareness of Political Motives

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a petition filed against proposed signature campaign in the state in protest against all India medical entrance exam NEET, observing the students are not so innocent as they understand the motive and agenda behind it.

The campaign was announced by Tamil Nadu Minister Udayanidhi Stalin. It is to be conducted throughout Tamil Nadu to collect 50 lakh signatures in 50 days.

Petitioner-in-person M L Ravi questioned validity of such a programme.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Vishwanathan, however, told him that these issues should not be raised in PIL jurisdiction.

“These kind of campaigns do not affect any policy. This kind of competitive examination on pan-India basis has to be held. The campaign is not going to affect anything. Let people say...,” the bench said.

Ravi, President of Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi, said that school students are distressed and they will have to face the exam, which will affect them badly.

“Fortunately, we have an informed generation. Our children are not so innocent now, they understand everything, what is the motive, what is the agenda,” the bench said.

Ravi said the ruling party is taking advantage and targeting the children.

"The videos uploaded in the social media exhibit the signature campaign being conducted in the schools, where the students being tutored about and against NEET exams and the students were made to put their signature. There is no protest by the officials or teachers of the School. The Dravida Munnetra Khazagam political party men seen inside the School explaining and obtaining the Signatures from Students. There is no permission being taken from the parents of the wards," his plea said.

Dictating the order, bench said, “We have heard the petitioner-in-person at a considerable length. We are of the opinion that it is not a fit case to invoke the jurisdiction of Article 32 of the Constitution. We therefore decline to entertain the petition.”

The petitioner, who is an advocate and social activist, had contended that the minister for sports Udayanidhi Stalin has announced that a signature campaign in protest and against conduct of NEET exams will be conducted throughout Tamil Nadu and collect 50 lakh signatures in 50 days.

“There is no permission obtained from the parents of the ward to take the signature of the students. By this act, students get disturbed and later they may have to face the NEET exams, the students may get depressed and end up in mental agony and spoil their career,” the plea said.

The petitioner said he came to know about it through social media and it is understood that there is no permission from the parents of the students.

The Supreme Court had already heard the matter related to validity of all India NEET exams and finality was arrived in allowing the exams and are being conducted every year.

“The signature campaign is the right of any political party but the students should not be used in this type of activity,” the plea said.

"The right to protest under Article 19(1) (a) Article 19(1)(b) and Article 19(1)(c) gives the citizen or any political party the right to freedom of expression. But such right cannot be advanced at schools and with students whom do not even have voting rights. Also such political activity should not be allowed inside or in the School campus. Already students died due to mental stress and distress on NEET issues. The parents/public gets affected due to these activity of political parties," the plea contended.



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