Published: 28th August 2020
Six state ministers file review petition: SC's NEET, JEE verdict fails to secure Right to Life of candidates
The petition further added that the apex court ignored the "teething logistical difficulties in conducting the examinations at the proposed dates"
Six state cabinet ministers from West Bengal, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Punjab and Maharashtra have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the August 17 order which had dismissed the plea to postpone NEET and JEE exams scheduled in September. Advocate Sunil Fernandes filed the petition on behalf of the ministers which stated that the SC order fails to "secure the safety, security and Right to Life of the students appearing for the NEET and JEE exams".
It further added that the apex court ignored the "teething logistical difficulties in conducting the examinations at the proposed dates" and "failed to balance the competing but equally important aspects of conducting the examination and securing the safety of the students".
The petitioners are Moloy Ghatak ( Minister-in-Charge, Department of Labour & ESI (MB) Scheme and Departments of Law & Judicial, West Bengal), Dr Rameshwar Oraon (Minister of Finance, Jharkhand), Dr Raghu Sharma (Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Rajasthan), Amarjeet Bhagat (Minister of Food, Civil supplies, Culture, Planning, Economics & Statistics, Chhattisgarh), Balbir Singh Sidhu (Minister Health and Family Welfare & Labour, Punjab), and Uday Ravindra Samant (Minister Higher and Technical Education, Maharashtra).
On August 17, a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari had dismissed the writ petition Sayantan Biswas and Others vs National Testing Agency (NTA) and others and added, "We find that there is absolutely no justification in the prayer made for postponement of the examination in question relating to NEET 2020 as well as JEE (Main) April 2020. In our opinion, though there is the pandemic situation, ultimately life has to go and the career of the students cannot be put on peril for the long and full academic year cannot be wasted". Challenging this order, the review petitioners said, "The advice of "Life Must Go On" may have very sound philosophical underpinnings but cannot be a substitute for valid legal reasoning and logical analysis of the various aspects involved in the conduct of the NEET and JEE exams".
"The only two reasons that can be discerned from the Impugned Order for dismissal of the Writ Petitions are (a) Life must go on. (b) Students should not lose an academic year. With utmost respect, both the reasons, even if cumulatively taken, do not constitute an authoritative and comprehensive judicial scrutiny of the list at hand", the plea stated. The JEE (Main) exams are scheduled from September 1 to 6 and the NEETexam is scheduled on September 13. Amid a wide campaign launched by several students in social media seeking the postponement of exams, the National Testing Agency announced its decision to go ahead with the exams as per the announced dates.