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Supreme Court dismisses plea to postpone NEET, JEE

Supreme Court dismisses plea to postpone NEET, JEE

The plea seeking postponement of National Eligibility Cum Entrance Exam Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) has been dismissed by the Supreme Court by quoting that “Career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long.”

Why the matter was in Court?

NEET and JEE are national level entrance examination conducted for the undergraduate programs. Usually, both the examinations take place every year in April & May. This year it was not possible to conduct both the examinations as per schedule due to breakout of deadly pandemic COVID-19. Hence, the examinations got postponed several times and finally are scheduled to conduct in September 2020. Since the deadly pandemic is spreading at an alarming rate across the country a petition was filed to further postpone both the examinations.

Petitioner’s Say:

The petition was filed by eleven students of eleven states. In their written submission they states that the decision of National Test Agency’s to hold both the examinations in the month of September 2020 at several centers across India is “utterly arbitrary, whimsical and violative of the fundamental right of life of lakhs of affected students as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India and thus liable to be quashed and set aside.

The plea further seeks the postponement of both the examinations by stating that “Lakhs of young students are likely to appear in the aforesaid JEE and NEET-UG exams in September 2020. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are increasing in India at an alarming rate. The deadly pandemic COVID-19 has already affected about 20 Lakh people in India and the situation is worsening by every passing day. Conducting the aforesaid examinations across India at such perilous time is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students at utmost risk and danger of disease and death.”

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava representing the petitioner in the oral arguments stated about the postponement of various other examinations by referring the example of Common Law Admission Entrance Test (CLAT) and Institution of Chartered Accountants of India (ICIA). He further speaks that they are not seeking an indefinite postponement of the examinations, but a postponement of some time as there is a chance of vaccine coming soon for COVID-19.

Judgment:

The bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari dismissed the petition. The Court states that “Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards.”

- Sulabh Gupta

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