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Karnataka HC upholds NEET for UG homeopathy courses, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Bengaluru: In a setback to private homeopathic medical colleges, the high court has upheld the constitutional validity of various provisions of the National Commission for Homeopathy Act-2020, including section 14, which prescribes uniform National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate courses.

Rejecting the petition filed by Karnataka State Homeopathic Medical Colleges Managements Association, a division bench headed by Justice Alok Aradhe pointed out that section 14 of the Act itself contains a provision for admission to BHMS course through NEET.

“In the instant case, by enacting Section 14, the right of the petitioners to admit students has merely been regulated and the same does not amount to violation of the rights under the Constitution or any other enactment. Therefore, the principle of doctrine of non “Retrogression is not applicable to the facts of the case,” the bench said.

The bench also negated the challenge to sections 3, 4, 10, 12, 43, 44 and 55(2)(m) of the Act and declared as constitutionally valid the National Commission for Homeopathy (Homeopathy Degree Course – BHMS) Regulation-2022 .

Govt order quashed

The bench clarified that the guidelines framed by the ministry of Ayush dated October 18, 2022 and the regulations framed by National Commission for Homeopathy dated December 6, 2022 do not apply to the admissions to BHMS UG course, which already commenced on July 19, 2022 .

The government order dated December 13, 2022 making the 2022 regulations applicable in respect of admission to UG courses for 2022-23 has been quashed. “The petitioners should be permitted to admit students for 2022-23 on remaining seats on the basis of eligibility,” the bench said.

‘Not all-India character’

The petitioners had argued that the institutions imparting education in homeopathy courses are not of all-India character and there is no excess demand over availability, giving scope for malpractices. Therefore, requiring assessment of inter-se-merit (through NEET) for grant of admission does not arise, they contended.

According to them, equating the study of homeopathy with allopathic medicine and dentistry, and applying rigors of provision for grant of admission provided for such courses is arbitrary.

Senior counsel Arun Shyam, who appeared for National Homeopathy Commission, said the Act and regulations have been enacted to provide access to quality and affordable medical educationand that there is no violation of either any fundamental rights of the petitioners or constitutional provision.

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