Karnataka High Court sustains NEET For Undergraduate Homeopathy Degree Courses
The Karnataka High Court on 3rd March, 2023 has upheld the Constitutional validity of provision of the National Commission for Homeopathy Act, 2020, which provides that there shall be a Uniform National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate Homoeopathy courses in all the institutions govern under the Act. This was in the case of Karnataka State Private Homoeopathic Medical College Managements Association V. Union of India & Others (W.P. No.25723 OF 2022) and this is presided over by a division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Vijaykumar A Patil.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The petitioner No.1 is an Association of Private Homeopathic Medical Colleges in the State of Karnataka. The members of petitioner No.1 – Association with intent to impart education in Homeopathy system of medicine have established Colleges and teaching hospitals under the provisions of Homeopathic Central Council Act, 1973, in different parts of the State. In the said colleges, education is imparted in homeopathy in Under Graduate and Post Graduate courses. The petitioners are seeking that Sections 3, 4, 10, 12, 14, 43, 44, 55 (2)(i)(m) of the National Commission of Homeopathy Act, 2010 are manifestly arbitrary, unworkable and unconstitutional and strike down the aforesaid provisions, they seek to regulate, finding it necessary; and permits adopting NEET of National Medical Commissioner and counselling process; and a seat matrix stipulating ‘quotas’ for admission in private institutions, as manifestly arbitrary and illegal. The State Government issued a notification dated 27.01.2018, wherein it was provided that in view of decision taken by ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidda and Homeopathy, it has decided to adopt National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) in place of Common Entrance Test for Ayush course in Government as well as private colleges in the State of Karnataka from the academic session 2018-19 and the admission shall be based on the rank in NEET examination. The petitioners thereupon challenged the said order in a writ petition viz., W.P.No.41486-534/2018 in which an interim order was granted on 11.10.2018, by which petitioners were permitted to admit students who were meeting the academic qualifications prescribed in the Regulations but have not appeared in NEET. For the academic session 2020-21, several institutions were unable to admit the students from merit list of NEET. The institutions therefore, approached the Central Government for redressal of their grievance. The Central Government by a communication dated 15.01.2021 brought down the minimum percentile from 50 to 40-30 percentile depending on the category of candidates.
The court opined that “Sections 3, 4, 10, 12, 14, 43, 44 and 55(2)(m) of the National Commission for Homeopathy Act, 2020 are valid and constitutional. The National Commission Homeopathy (Homeopathy Degree Course -B.H.M.S) Regulation, 2022 are also intra vires.The guidelines framed by Ministry of Ayush dated 18.10.2022 and the Regulations framed by National Commission for Homeopathy dated 06.12.2022 do not apply to the process of admission to B.H.M.S under graduate course which have already commenced on 19.07.2022.
The Government Order dated 13.12.2022 making the 2022 Regulations applicable in respect of admission to B.H.M.S. under graduate course for academic session 2022-23 is quashed.The petitioners shall be permitted to admit students on remaining vacant seats on the basis of academic eligibility for the academic session 2022-23 only.”
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY PRATIKSHYA P. BEURA