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It is pointed out in the plea that many aspirants were unable to write the entrance exams on account of COVID-19 contingencies and issues faced such as transit issues, sickness and others.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court praying for the Court to take suo motu cognizance of reports regarding NEET-JEE aspirants who were unable to take the exams due to unforeseeable circumstances.
The petition filed by an Advocate Shashwat Anand prays for the Court to pass appropriate orders in the interest of the students who were unable to take the entrance exams and to direct the National Testing Agency (NTA) to permit such students to write a re-examination.
It is also prayed that the States be directed to assist in making necessary travel-related arrangements for the students who wish to write the re-examination and for those who live in remote places.
Moreover, the petitioners have also urged the Court to exercise its Article 142 jurisdiction to lay down certain guidelines in relation to the conduct of retests for entrance exams like NEET, JEE, among others, where the students miss the exams due to some sufficient cause.
It is pointed out in the plea that many aspirants were unable to write the entrance exams on account of COVID-19 contingencies and issues faced such as transit issues, sickness and others. A detailed report on the plight of students was carried in the Hindustan Times on September 13. The plea has urged the Court to take suo motu cognizance of the same.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had heard petitions which highlighted the possible issues that the students could face in writing the NEET amid the pandemic. However, the petition was dismissed by the Court. A review petition filed subsequently was also not entertained by the Supreme Court which paved the way for the exam to be held on the scheduled date i.e September 13. The last PIL in relation to NEET was dismissed on September 9.
Owing to the extraordinary circumstances in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing restrictions, many students who were unable to take the exam deserve another opportunity for the same, it is averred.
If the Court declines to grant relief to this effect, it would lead to irreparable loss to the students who would lose one entire academic year. It would have an adverse impact on their careers, the petition states.
This, the petitioner juxtaposes against the observations made by the Supreme Court while dismissing the PIL for postponement/cancellation of NEET, when the Court had said that,
“..though there is pandemic situation, but ultimately life has to go and the career of the students cannot be put on peril for long and full academic year.”
The petition further adds,
Therefore, the petitioner has prayed for Court to take suo motu cognizance of the issue at hand and pass necessary directions.
The petition is drawn by Advocates Rajesh Inamdar, Amit Pai and Smita Pandey and filed through Advocate Amit Pai.