The Supreme Court today dismissed three petitions seeking to postpone the NEET examination for admission to undergraduate medical courses scheduled to be conducted on September 13. The petitions cited many grounds for postponement of the exams including the Bihar floods and the lesser restrictions on movement. A similar petition filed by six Ministers from various states was dismissed by the Court on September 4.
The three petitions sought for the postponement of the examination instead of cancellation in view of the coronavirus outbreak. A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy and Mr Shah took the decision. The court in its August 17 order, which was passed by a Bench headed by Justice Mishra, had allowed the Centre to conduct the examinations. The court had observed that the career of students could not be put on peril and a year could not be wasted.
Commenting on the maintainability of the petitions, the bench remarked that everything was over, the review petitions were also dismissed and the JEE has also been conducted, so how could then the current petition be considered. Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar who appeared for the petitioners gave the example of Bihar where there are only two centres for the examination and the train services have been stopped till September 30. “16 lakh students are writing the exams. This is the only medical exam. There are only two centres- Patna and Gaya. Trains are not running till 30th. We are only asking for 3 weeks of postponement”, Datar submitted.
Senior Advocate KTS Tulsi who supported Datar’s argument requested the court to pass an order similar to that passed by the Bombay High Court last week. The Bombay High Court had ordered the National Testing Agency to conduct a re-examination for the students who could not appear for the exam. Datar also made a similar request for students who will not be able to appear in the exam due to lockdown restrictions.