The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the Centre’s Ordinance that deferred the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test by a year and gave states the option to have their own medical entrance exams. The top court said there was no need for an interim order as the government had not done away with NEET altogether, but it had merely exempted some states from the order. Setting the NEET Ordinance aside would confuse students further, it said, adding that the matter should be presented before the chief justice of India in July.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday signed the order, which was passed by the Cabinet last Friday. It partially overturned the Supreme Court’s ruling that directed states to conduct NEET instead of their own entrance tests this year. The apex court’s move was seen as a safeguard against the corruption and irregularities allegedly rampant in state-level exams.

However, states protested against the verdict, saying students have not had enough time to prepare, given the suddenness of the apex court’s ruling. They also argued that regional students would face a language barrier during the paper. The next phase of NEET was scheduled to be held on July 24.