SC to hear review petition today seeking deferment of JEE, NEET examinations


The Supreme Court today (Friday) will hear the review petition filed against the conduct of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) in September by six Cabinet Ministers from Opposition-ruled states.

The review petition was filed against the previous order of the apex court declining to postpone NEET-UG and JEE (Mains) exams amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top court had refused to interfere with the conduct of the medical and engineering entrance exams, saying that life must go on and students can’t lose a precious year due to the pandemic.

Ministers of 6 non-BJP ruled states, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Rajasthan, filed a review petition on August 28 seeking the postponement of the examinations in view of the COVID-19 crisis.

The review plea has been filed by ministers from West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak), Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon), Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma), Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat), Punjab (BS Sidhu), and Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant).

The petition filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, states that the August 17 order is “cryptic” and “non-speaking” and that it does not take into consideration the risk in conducting an examination of this scale in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The apex court had on August 17, dismissed a plea by one Sayantan Biswas and 10 other students seeking direction to NTA to postpone them after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta assured that all safeguards would be taken. 

The Supreme Court will decide whether a three-judge-bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari should hear the review plea in chambers.

Students from across the country had complained that in view of the COVID-19 crisis, examinations should be postponed until the situation becomes normal as it can pose a serious health threat to them and their families. 

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