Plea in High Court seeks to re-allot exam centres for NEET candidates in TN

A petition was filed in the Madras High Court today seeking a direction to the CBSE for re-allotment of NEET examination centres for candidates from Tamil Nadu who were assigned centres outside the state.

First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose posted it for hearing tomorrow before a bench headed by Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh after a mention was made for taking up the matter urgently.

Petitioner S Kalimuthu Mylavan, an advocate, submitted that candidates who applied from Tamil Nadu were allotted NEET examination centres in other states and not according to their choice within the state as mentioned in their applications.

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is scheduled to be held across the country on May 6.

Stating that at the time of applying, candidates are required to prefer three examination centres of their choice, the petitioner submitted most of them had chosen three centre situated nearby in their respective states.

The petitioner further said candidates from southern districts of the state had been allotted centres in neighbouring Kerala.

He contended that most of the candidates who had applied were from rural areas and from poor families and may not be able to afford to spend for their stay in other states.

He prayed the court to quash the April 18 public notice issued by Central Board of Secondary Education, which conducts NEET, and for subsequent direction to re-allot examination centres for candidates from Tamil Nadu to those nearest to their residences within Tamil Nadu.

Madras High Court directs Tamil Nadu government to give relief to kin of manual scavengers

The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay due compensation to the families of three manual scavengers who died while cleaning a septic tank at a hotel in Kancheepuram district last week.

The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose gave the direction when A Narayanan, representing Change India NGO, made a mention of the death of three persons while performing manual scavenging at the hotel in Sriperumbudur, 50 km from here, on February 14.

To this the bench said, “They must be compensated immediately.”

Requesting the bench to take up the public interest litigation (PIL) with regard to manual scavenging, Narayanan submitted that despite awareness being created about the social evil, the employment of manual scavengers continued.

On his part, the government counsel submitted that already two persons were arrested in connection with the incident and more arrests are likely to be made

HC dismisses PILs challenging bus fare hike in Tamil Nadu

The Madras High Court today dismissed two PILs challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s recent order increasing bus fares, saying it cannot interfere in policy decisions.

The First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose before which the PILs filed by V Munikrishnan and George Williams, an advocate, came up, refused to interfere in the issue stating that it is a policy decision.

However, the bench directed the government to take immediate steps to display fare charts in all government and private buses prominently.

The bench in its order said, “There is no doubt that any price hike, including the bus fare hike would affect the people. However, fare fixation is a matter of policy, in which the high court cannot interfere.”

One of the petitioners Munikrishnan submitted that he came to know through the print and visual media that the state government has increased the bus fares from January 20, citing various reasons like hike in prices of diesel, spare parts, maintenance of buses and transport employees salary, etc.

The other petitioner William contended that the hike was unjustified, arbitrary and has been made without following procedures.

Referring to a statistical report, he said 80 per cent of the people used buses to travel, particularly the poor and middle class people adding the state government has been spending huge public money for achieving their political goals and shifting the burden on the public.

Munikrishnan said when people were already suffering due to GST, demonetisation and hike in prices of other basic needs, the state government has hiked bus fare.

In his plea, Williams wanted the court to interfere immediately by passing an interim order restraining the government from collecting the revised fare which he claimed was adversely affecting the people and student community.

Advocate General Vijay Narayan, who appeared on behalf the state submitted that for the past seven years the government has not increased bus fares.

The bench which refused to interfere in the issue, said matters like bus fare hike were purely under the government’s domain and and dismissed the petitions.