NEET, JEE exams on: SC rejects review pleas

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The Supreme Court Friday dismissed the pleas, including the one filed by ministers of six opposition-ruled states, seeking review of its August 17 order which paved the way for holding NEET and JEE exams.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, which considered the pleas in-chamber, said there was “no merit” in the review petitions.

The apex court also rejected the applications seeking listing of the review petition in the open court.

“Applications seeking permission to file review petitions are allowed. We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petitions and the same are accordingly dismissed,” the bench said in its order.

National Testing Agency (NTA) which conducts both the exams is holding JEE Main Exams from September 1-6, while NEET exams will be held on September 13.

The review matters in the apex court are usually considered ‘in-chambers’ through circulation of petition among the judges of the bench. The judges then decide ‘in-chambers’ whether there is any merit in the review petition to re-examine the case in open court hearing.

One of the review pleas was filed by ministers from West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak), Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon), Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma), Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat), Punjab (B S Sidhu) and Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant).

The apex court had on August 17 dismissed a plea which had sought postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate examinations amid spurt in number of COVID-19 cases.

While refusing to interfere with the conduct of medical and engineering entrance exams, the top court had said that though there is a pandemic situation, “ultimately life has to go and the career of the students cannot be put on peril for long and a full academic year cannot be wasted”.

In their review plea filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, the ministers of six states — ruled by parties like Congress, TMC, JMM, NCP and Shiv Sena — had claimed that the top court order failed to secure students’ “right to life” and ignored “teething logistical difficulties” to be faced in conducting the exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.