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'Life Cannot be Stopped': NEET, JEE Exams to be Held in September as SC Junks Plea for Postponement

File photo of The Supreme Court of India. (Image Credit: PTI)

File photo of The Supreme Court of India. (Image Credit: PTI)

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said the court was mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic but a whole year of students could not go waste, thereby jeopardising their career prospects.

Observing that life has to go on with all precautions in place, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to postpone National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) examinations, scheduled for September.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said the court was mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic but a whole year of students could not go waste, thereby jeopardising their career prospects.

“Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards and all…Career of students cannot be put under jeopardy indefinitely,” remarked the bench while declining to entertain further a PIL which wanted the medical and engineering entrance exams deferred in the wake of the coronavirus contagion.

The bench further commented that Covid-19 is here to stay probably for another year. “But students’ careers cannot be indefinitely postponed. Six months have already elapsed in Covid,” added the court, noting that the national law entrance exams, CLAT, is now scheduled for September like many other exams.

It said that the world over, educational institutions are now opening up while pointing out that the Supreme Court is also contemplating to resume physical court hearings.

The court also enquired from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who on behalf of the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) – the agency for conducting exams, stated that they affirm their stand on conduct of exams as per the schedule in September. Mehta assured the bench that all necessary precautions will be taken in conducting exams.

The bench accepted a plea by advocates Mitul Shelat and Jaikriti S Jadeja, who had filed a separate petition for holding exams as per schedule. This petition was disposed of as having no further grievance remaining to be addressed by the Court.