The ministers in their plea had claimed that the top court order failed to secure students’ “right to life” and ignored “teething logistical difficulties” to be faced in conducting the exams during the COVID-19 pandemic
New Delhi: In a major development, the Supreme Court on Friday (September 4, 2020) refused to entertain the review petition filed by ministers of six Opposition-ruled states who were seeking a review of the top court’s August 17 order to conduct NEET-UG and JEE (Mains) examinations.
The ministers in their plea had claimed that the top court order failed to secure students’ “right to life” and ignored “teething logistical difficulties” to be faced in conducting the exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cabinet Ministers of six states had sought a review of the Supreme Court order dated August 17 vide which it had allowed the Centre to hold the National Eligibility cum Entrance test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) in September.
The States which had filed a review petition are West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan. The states demanded that the examinations be postponed by at least six to eight weeks keeping in mind the surge in coronavirus cases and health concerns of students. They alleged that the government’s decision to go ahead with examinations despite the 3.3 million COVID-19 cases with over 60,000 deaths, “reveals non-application of mind, and is unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious exercise of power”.
However, this is the second time that the top court rejected the request to postpone the engineering and medical exams JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) and NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test).
The Supreme Court had earlier rejected such a request by 11 students from 11 states. A Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, on August 17, had dismissed pleas seeking deferment of JEE Main 2020 and NEET UG examinations which are slated to be held in September.
Pursuant to the August 17 order of the Apex Court, the National Testing Agency (NTA), earlier this week, notified that the said entrance examination would be conducted as per the revised schedule with the NEET on September 13 and the JEE on September 16.
The JEE started on September 1 and the NEET exam is to be held on September 13.