The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking the postponement of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) scheduled to be held in September 2020.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra dismissed the plea observing that the career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long. “Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards and all… Are you (students) ready to waste one whole year?” Justice Mishra said.
“Now, the courts are also going to open gradually for physical hearing. We also have these glass panels now,” Justice Mishra said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the National Testing Agency, submitted before the apex court that all the safeguards will be taken while holding the exam.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava for the petitioners told the court that lakhs of students are looking to Supreme Court for relief. He said that Prime Minister also said on Independence Day that vaccine is on its way.
The petition, filed by eleven students from eleven states, contended that the decision to hold JEE (main) exam through online mode from September 1 to 6 and NEET UG-2020 through offline mode on September 13 at 161 centres across India are arbitrary, whimsical and violative of the fundamental right to life of lakhs of affected students.
The plea said that the Institution of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) had cancelled the CA exams citing COVID-19 risk and remaining exams of CBSE/ICSE/ISC have also been cancelled. It said that the Common Law Admission Entrance Test (CLAT) and the National Institute of Open School exams have also been postponed.
“Lakhs of young students are likely to appear in the aforesaid JEE (Main) April-2020 and NEET UG-2020 Exams in the month of 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,” the plea said.
“Conducting the aforesaid examination across India at such perilous time is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death,” it added.