NEET UG 2018: Ahead of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) UG examination on May 6, the Delhi High Court on Thursday said that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) can not prohibit the entry of Sikh MBBS aspirants with ‘kara’, ‘kirpan’ into the exam centre. The HC further said that candidates carrying a ‘kirpan’ or the ones who wear a ‘kara’ will have to report an hour early for the entrance test for screening. The HC further said that the board cannot prohibit the entry of these ‘articles of faith’ into the examination centres when these objects are allowed even onboard an aircraft, according to a PTI report.
This statement by HC comes after CBSE had claimed that the entry of these articles along with some other metallic objects is barred inside examination centres on account of the use of unfair means in the exam in the past. A Delhi High Court Bench headed by justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla while rejecting the board’s claims said that such a prohibition cannot be put in place on the basis of a “vague apprehension”.
The court released a statement saying, “There cannot be a vague apprehension that people who come for the test will do it (cheat). Is there even one instance of misuse of these objects? If you go by your rule, there are a lot of implants..”. The court further added that the “uniformity of the policy should not lead to absurdity.”
The High Court then went on to criticise the Central Board of Secondary Education’s rule and said, “Was there any thinking from you while the petition was pending here? Did you apply your mind to the issue of ‘kara’ and ‘kirpan’? This is serious as you have any number of Sikh students. How can you ignore your responsibility? You cannot apply a rule in an asymmetrical manner.”
The court said that there is no law in the country that prohibits the two objects of faith. It also said that such policies would lead to a situation where people carrying these objects will not be able to enter a mall or even an aircraft.
The Delhi High Court also cited the example of some United Kingdom schools where students were prohibited from wearing a ‘kara’ or carrying ‘kirpan’ and said, “slowly the rights of a person go and we will become a European country.”
The application was filed by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) through advocate S S Ahluwalia last year. It challenged the CBSE’s rule banning entry of metallic objects, including ‘kara’ and ‘kirpan’, into the exam halls.