NEET and JEE Main 2020: Supreme Court dismisses pleas seeking postponement of exams

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas seeking postponement of JEE Main 2020 and NEET UG examinations — which are scheduled to be conducted in September amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The plea was heard by the SC Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.

NEET and JEE Main 2020 Exam Postponement Plea: Live updates

12.12 pm: SC dismisses the petition. Says the postponement of the NEET/JEE will put the ‘career of students in peril’. The bench says that it has taken into record the submission of Solicitor General that exams will be held with adequate precautions. Says, there is no ground to interfere with policy decision.

12.12 pm: Advocate Alakh says that there is a chance of vaccine coming soon for COVID-19. Even the Prime Minister said about it in his August 15 speech. Not seeking an indefinite postponement of the exam, but a postponement for some time, he submits.

12.11 pm: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for NTA, says that exams should be conducted, and adequate precautions will be taken.

12.10 pm: ‘If exams are not held, won’t it be a loss to the country? Students will lose the academic year’, Justice Arun Mishra says.

12.05 pm: “Life should move on even in COVID-19 times. Can we just stop exams? We should move on,” said Justice Arun Misra on plea seeking postponmenet of JEE/NEET exams.

12.00 pm: Starting the hearing in the case, Justice Arun Mishra says there are two petitions. One seeking conduct of JEE and NEET exams and another seeking postponement of these exams.

The plea, filed on August 6, by 11 students belonging to 11 states, had sought the quashing of the public notices released by the National Testing Agency on July 3, in which it was decided to hold the JEE Main and NEET UG exams in September. The petitioners also urged the court to direct the Centre to hold JEE and NEET examinations only after normalcy is restored in the country.

The plea had cited that, conducting the JEE Main and NEET examination across the country 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. It also said that the best recourse at this stage can be to wait for some more time, let the COVID-19 crisis subside and then only conduct these exams, to save the lives of the students and their parents.

The petitioners also urged the Court to increase the number of NEET and JEE examination centres across the country and provide at least one centre in one district of each state.

Issuing a notice on July 3, the NTA had said the JEE Main will be conducted from September 1 to 6 and NEET UG 2020 will be held on September 13, 2020.

The plea filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava had also said “While deciding to conduct the aforesaid JEE (Main) April-2020 and NEET UG-2020 exams in September 2020, the respondents (NTA and others) have overlooked that many states have refused to allow conducting of any professional or non-professional exams in their states at this stage and hence the same is likely to cause unimaginable harassment to the petitioners and other similarly situated students.

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