The Supreme Court on 17th August dismissed a plea seeking postponement of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) scheduled to be held in September 2020.
A three judges bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari was hearing the petition filed by 11 aspirants from across 11 states. The plea also sought a direction to the National Testing Agency to conduct exams only after normalcy in the situation.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the National Testing Agency made a submission that exams should be conducted and adequate precautions will be taken.
Appearing for the petitioners, Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava submitted that he is not seeking indefinite postponement, but a postponement for some time only. He threw light on cancelation of various other examinations postponed amid the pandemic. The petition stated,
"Lakhs of young students are likely to appear in the aforesaid JEE (Main) April-2020 and NEET UG-2020 Exams in the months 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 situation is worsening by every passing day. 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."
The Court dismissed the plea and made it clear that NEET and JEE will not be dismissed.
Justice Arun Mishra observed,
“Career of students can not be put under jeopardy for long.”
Justice Arun Mishra further asked,
“Are you not demanding that Courts should reopen? Why can't exams be held with precautions?”