JEE, NEET 2020: SC Dismisses Review Petition Filed by Six States
The plea had sought a review of the SC’s earlier judgment in which it had dismissed a plea to postpone JEE & NEET.
The Supreme Court on Friday, 4 September, dismissed a petition filed by six states, asking the apex court to revisit and reconsider its earlier judgment in which it had dismissed a plea to postpone JEE & NEET exams.
A three-judge bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari had taken up the review petition in chambers, meaning that there was no open court hearings or arguments by the lawyers for the petitioners.
Justice Bhushan took the place of Justice Arun Mishra on the bench, following the latter’s retirement on 2 September.
Which states had filed the petition?
On 28 August, six Opposition-ruled states – Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand – had filed the review petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the conduct of these two engineering and medical entrance exams.
The petition filed before the Supreme Court had sought a review of its earlier judgment dated 17 August, in which a three-judge bench had dismissed a similar petition asking for the postponement of JEE Main and NEET UG exams.
What were the grounds on which the petitioners had filed the review petition?
The petitioners felt that the conduct of national-level entrance exams for about 25 lakh students across 4,500 test centres would entail mass-movement of people across the country and defeat principles of social distancing.
They said that conducting exams, at a time when India has witnessed a record-number of COVID-19 cases, would endanger the health of students with co-morbidities, as they could be exposed to the virus during their commute to the exam centres.
The petitioners contended that since a large number of JEE, NEET candidates come from non-metro, semi-urban, Tier-II, Tier-III and rural areas, they would be at a disadvantage when compared to students from urban areas and could be forced to undertake unsafe modes of transportation during the pandemic.
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