The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will go ahead as per the allotted dates after a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Friday rejected a review petition seeking the postponement of the exams.
The review petition was filed by ministers of six opposition-ruled states against the court's August 17 order allowing the National Test Agency (NTA) to hold NEET and JEE exams in September, amid nationwide opposition from students.
Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari held the in-chamber hearing at 1:30pm on Friday in which they dismissed the review of their earlier order, allowing the government to conduct the exams in September. The bench also rejected the applications seeking listing of the review petition in the open court.
"The applications seeking permission to file the 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.
One of the review pleas was filed by ministers from West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak), Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon), Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma), Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat), Punjab (BS Sidhu) and Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant). The apex court had on August 17 dismissed a plea seeking postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate examinations amid a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases.
The JEE Main exam for over 8 lakh engineering aspirants had started on September 1. NEET 2020 will be held on September 13. The apex court, in its earlier judgement, had upheld the Centre's decision to hold the exams and said, "A crucial year of students cannot be wasted and life has to go on" while dismissing the students’ pleas for postponement.
The ministers of six non-BJP-ruled states had said the Supreme Court's order failed to secure students' "right to life" and ignored "teething logistical difficulties" to be faced in conducting the exams during the coronavirus pandemic.