JEE Main 2020, NEET 2020: Plea filed with SC looking for another attempt for students who missed the September exams

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Samrat Roy

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A plea in law has been lodged before the Supreme Court seeking suo moto cognition to be taken from news reports that students are unable to take examinations such as NEET, JEE, etc. due to "unforeseen, unavoidable circumstances in the context of COVID-19 situations" and to direct the National Testing Agency to arrange for such students to be re-examined at a later date.

The plea, filed on behalf of Advocate Shashwat Anand through Advocates Rajesh Inamdar, Amit Pai and Smita Pandey, also seeks to issue/determine certain guidelines and/or directions for students who miss such competitive examinations as a result of any sufficient cause, to allow and facilitate the same to appear in such examinations on their behalf.

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The plea refers to an article published on 13 September in which a student's case in Bihar has been reported.

The student was said to have travelled 700 kilometres to take the exams but was not allowed to take the exam because it was apparently 10 minutes late.

It is argued that the Supreme Court considered the issue of the conduct of the NEET exam and rejected it, thus allowing the examinations to take place and observed that the postponement of the NEET / JEE would put the "career of students at risk."

"It is argued that a number of lakhs of students risking their lives and risking illness and death have taken part in the examinations and, having regard to their academic future, and after examination, the students should have been allowed to appear in the examination," the plea states.

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In the light of the foregoing, the Petitioner contends that students "deserve one more opportunity as to those who found it difficult to take the NEET exam on the grounds of pandemic restrictions or other unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances."

"It is argued that if this Hon'ble Court fails to take note of this act and fails to give all such students the opportunity to consider the inevitable and prevailing condition, the careers of all such students will be put at risk for a long and full academic year, which, despite all the odds and difficulties, could not reach the examination centres or could not reach within the timeframe.

The plea, therefore, requests the Court to take the suo moto knowledge of the news reports and to direct the Respondents to conduct a re-test on a new date in order to allow those students who have missed the NEET exams because of the circumstances.

It further prays for the guidelines to be formulated for those students who may miss these exams due to a sufficient cause or cause.

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