On Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed the petitions, including the one filed by ministers of six opposition-ruled states, seeking review of its 17th August order which paved the way for NEET and JEE examinations to be held.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, B R Gavai, and Krishna Murari, who found in-chamber pleas, said the petitions for the investigation had no substance.
The apex court also dismissed open court applications seeking to list the appeal petition.
It requires applications requesting approval to file requests for review. We have gone through the petitions for approval and the relevant papers with care. We see no validity in the requests for approval and the same is subsequently denied.
The National Testing Agency ( NTA), which conducts both the tests, will hold JEE Main Exams from September 1-6, while the NEET exams will take place on September 13.
Examination matters at the supreme court are typically called ‘in-chambers’ by circulating petition among the bench judges. The judges then decide ‘in-chambers’ if the appeal motion has any validity in re-examining the case at open court hearing.
The ministers of West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak), Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon), Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma), Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat), Punjab (B S Sidhu), and Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant) filed one of the pleas for review.
On August 17, the apex court dismissed a petition seeking to postpone JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate exams in the midst of Covid-19 proceedings.
Although refusing to intervene with the conduct of medical and engineering entrance examinations, the top court said that while there is a pandemic situation, life must eventually go away and the students’ future cannot be put at risk for a long and complete academic year.
In their petition for review filed via advocate Sunil Fernandes, the ministers of six states — controlled by parties including Congress, TMC, JMM, NCP and Shiv Sena — had argued that the top court order failed to protect the “right to life” of the students and overlooked the “teething logistical difficulties” faced during the Covid-19 pandemic to conduct the exams.
The petition had said that the supreme court order does not address the safety and security concerns of the students who are expected to appear for the examinations.
It had said that the mere fact that student lakhs have registered for the exam is not indicative of their approval or ability or intention to take physical examinations.
It had also said that the order of August 17 is vague, non-speaking and does not explore different aspects and complexities of this magnitude.
The petition for review had also claimed that only two of the court’s reasons-life must continue and students do not miss an academic year-do not constitute an authoritative and thorough judicial review of the matter.
It had said that JEE Mains is projected to run over 660 exam centres with 9.53 lakhs students appearing for it, approximately 1,443 percent of students.
Similarly for NEET UG, 15.97 students from lakhs will appear in 3,843 centres across the country, almost 415 students per cent, it had said.