The Supreme Court, on Monday, refused to postpone the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-UG), saying it does not want to interfere with the exam process and it would be "unfair" to change its date.
NEET-UG is to be held on 12 September (Sunday). A three-judge bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and C T Ravikumar said that if students want to appear in multiple examinations, they will have to decide the priority and choose their option as there can never be a situation in which the examination will be held when everyone is satisfied with the date.
The top court said that the petitioners are free to express their views on the issue before the concerned authorities and a decision in this regard should be taken as per law at the earliest.
The bench told advocate Shoaib Alam, appearing for the petitioners, that "the arguments you are making may not be relevant to 99 per cent of the candidates and the whole system cannot be stopped for one per cent of the candidates."
Alam had said that the medical entrance exam — NEET-UG 2021 — should be postponed as many other exams are also to be held around 12 September.
To this, the bench said, "It would be very unfair to change the date of examination as NEET is a very large-scale examination. It is not state-wise, but a nationwide examination."
The court commented that the platform of the court should not be used to put pressure on the authorities. "We cannot postpone the examination, ignoring the hard work of 16 lakh students and such important preparations of the Central government, that too at the time when the candidates have also got the admit cards to enter the examination hall".
Permission to appear in the examination on provisional basis
Earlier, on 3 September 2021, the National Testing Agency (NTA) had informed the Supreme Court that students will be allowed to appear in the examination even if the CBSE results are not declared till then.
Failure to present their high school marks will NOT debar the students from appearing in the examination and the results will be sought only during counselling. In this context, the court said that the students who have got compartment in the board exams will be allowed to appear in the NEET exam on a provisional basis.
NEET exam schedule and other exam dates
-NEET: 12 September
-Improvement and compartment exams in CBSE class 12: 25 August to 15 September
-ICAR AIEEA 2021 UG (For B.Sc Admission): 7, 8 and 13 September
-Karnataka CoMEDK: 14 September
-Odisha JEE: 6 to 18 September
Many students stated that the ICAR exam on 13 September was exactly a day after NEET 2021 and students will not be able to move from one centre to another in a day.
At the same time, the CBSE Mathematics paper is also to be held on 13 September.
The plea filed in the Supreme Court by Advocate Sumanth Nookala sought to quash the public notice scheduling NEET UG 2021 on 12 September as being “manifestly arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”
While hearing the submission made by the NTA’s counsel on 3 September, the bench orally told the petitioner's counsel: "Your grievance is that other exams will commence and your result isn't declared. The relief claimed is unnecessary as authorities say you will be permitted to appear".
“We will not entertain this petition. We do not want uncertainty. Let the exam continue”, said the three-judge bench.
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