A Review Petition file in Supreme Court Against Dismissal of Plea to Postpone NEET And JEE

Six Cabinet Ministers from West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Maharashtra has filed a review petition against the dismissal of plea seeking to postpone NEET and JEE by Supreme Court on 17th August 2020.

The plea states that the judgment delivered by Supreme Court was based on two reasons. First is “life must go on” and the second is “students should not lose an academic year”. But with utmost respect, both the reasons even if cumulatively taken, do not constitute an authoritative and comprehensive judicial scrutiny of the lis at hands.

The petition was filed through Advocate Sunil Fernandis contend that “while the Union Government is focused on avoiding the contagion at examination centers, they failed to appreciate the point that the process of reaching the examination center itself can be a major source of contracting the infection.” The plea also raised a point that it would be practically impossible to properly implement social distancing norms within exam centers because of lesser number of examination centers.

The plea further states that “The advice of Life must go on may have very sound philosophical underpinnings but cannot be a substitute for valid legal reasoning and logical analysis of the various aspects involved in the conduct of NEET and JEE exams.” The plea in reply to second reason “students should not lose an academic year” states that The review petitioners too do not desire for the students to lose an academic year, but wish to balance their health, safety and security and that of their family with not losing the current academic year.

The review petition points out that the decision of National Test Agency’s decision to conduct NEET and JEE is flawed and raised the following questions:

· It fails to secure the safety, security, and right to life of the student- candidates appearing for the NEET/JEE exams.

· It has ignored the teething logistical difficulties in conducting the examinations on the proposed dates.

· It has failed to balance the competing but equally important aspects of conducting the examination and securing the safety of the students.

· It fails to ensure that mandatory safeguards are put in place during the conduct of the examinations.

- By Sulabh Gupta

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