The Supreme Court of India has, on Friday, dismissed the petition filed by the six non-BJP ruling states that sought to review the top court's judgment of permitting the Center to conduct JEE and NEET 2020 entrance exams, amid the nationwide outcry and strong call from the students and opposition to defer the examinations in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions.
Last week, Congress and opposition parties have decided to approach the Supreme Court to review the verdict pronounced on August 17 in conducting the exams. The state ministers of six non-BJP states had moved to the apex court to review its verdict and in their petition, they stated that the court's order had failed to secure students 'right to life' and ignored the difficulties to be faced by students in conducting the exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes said that the top court order had failed to satisfy the safety and security concerns of students who have to appear for the exams. The plea came to hearing in the Supreme Court bench consists of Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari. After the hearing, the apex court had rejected the plea filed by the opposition parties and stated that it had found no merit in the plea.
By dismissing the plea, the apex court had kept its August 17 verdict. The top court's nod had attracted major criticism following which the six states ruled by Congress, NCP, TMC, Shiv Sena, and JMM parties had combinedly approached the court to sought postponements of the exams by stating that the health and safety of the students are not compromised.
In its verdict on August 17, the top court had rejected the plea that sought the postponement of the exams after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had assured the bench all safety protocols and safeguards would be taken by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which schedules and conducts the national entrance exams.
The court further refused to interfere with the conduct of the medical and engineering entrance exams and stated that life must go on and students can't lose a precious year due to the pandemic. With the view of deferring the exams, the opposition parties had approached the apex court to review its order and their petition has been rejected by the top court on Friday by stating that it found no merit in the petition.
According to the NTA, the JEE - Mains (Joint Entrance Examination) has been taking place from September 1 to 6 while the NEET (National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test) has been scheduled to take place on September 13. The agency said that 9.53 lakh students have been registered for JEE- Mains while 15.97 lakh students have registered for NEET 2020.