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SC dismisses fresh plea against holding NEET UG

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a fresh pleas filed seeking postponement of of NEET-UG examination by National Testing Agency in wake of the covid-19 pandemic. The pleas also sought reliefs like having more number of NEET exam centres and holding the eligibility test of NEET in more than one shifts.

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar highlighted the practical difficulties of conducting the exam and NEET exams are starting on Sept 13 and urged the Court to consider postponing the exam by three weeks We are asking for a postponement.

The Bench observed thay all arrangements will be made for the NEET exams and there cannot be different dates for different States. Also no matter what date is fixed there will be some difficulty . 

NEET-JEE exams

Senior Advocate KTS Tulsi argued that COVID19 cases are increasing as there are 90,000 daily cases and students are at a high risk of contracting the virus. He cites Bombay HC’s recent order where it was said those who cannot appear for the exam should be appropriately considered.

Advocate Shoeb Alam for petitioners sought some facilitation for aspirants to reach the exam centres, and the local authorities may be directed to ensure that the guidelines are enforced.

The Supreme Court on September 4, dismissed the review petition filed by cabinet ministers of six opposition-ruled states challenging its decision to dismiss pleas seeking the postponement of NEET-JEE exams in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. A bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari heard the plea in a chamber. 

The August 17, order challenged in the review petition was issued by Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari, while hearing a plea filed by 11 students from 11 states, submitting that the decision to hold these exams during COVID-19 was utterly arbitrary, whimsical and violative of the fundamental right to life of lakhs of affected students.

In compliance with Supreme Court’s order, the Union government through Amit Khare, Secretary of High Education Ministry, had also clarified on August 25 that NEET and JEE will happen as scheduled in September as the year cannot be wasted. He had also informed that the National Testing Agency (NTA) has issued standard operating procedure with guidelines for conducting the exams, including full sanitisation of exam centres, usage of masks all the time, hand sanitisers and gloves, etc.  

The Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) Main for admission to engineering institutes was finally conducted on September 1 with precautions amid COVID-19, and NEET 2020, for admission to country’s medical colleges is scheduled to be held on September 13. Both the entrance exams had been postponed twice in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

-India Legal Bureau

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