Sikh MBBS aspirants who carry a kirpan or wear a kara, will have to report an hour earlier for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for screening after the Delhi High Court said that the CBSE cannot prohibit entry of these "articles of faith" in an exam centre when these objects are allowed even on-board an aircraft. The test is scheduled for May 6.
A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla rejected the Central Board of Secondary Educations claim that these items, along with all other metallic objects, were barred from entry on account of use of unfair means in the exam in the past, saying such a prohibition cannot be put in place on the basis of a "vague apprehension".
"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 lot of implants..," the court said and added "uniformity of the policy should not lead to absurdity".
It also observed that there was no law in India which prohibits the two objects of faith. Such policies would lead to a situation where a person would not be able to enter a mall or an aircraft, it said. "Slowly the rights of a person goes and we will become a European country," the bench said, referring to the United Kingdom where some schools have prohibited students from wearing kara or carrying kirpan.
The court directed the CBSE to ask such aspirants carrying objects of faith to report one hour before the reporting time of 9.30 am at the exam centres. The application was filed by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), through advocate S S Ahluwalia, in view of the NEET exam scheduled to be held on May 6.