KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 9/5/2020 4:24:57 PM

NEW DELHI, Sep 4: The Supreme Court on Friday gave a go-ahead to the JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) and NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) exams for all-India admissions in engineering and medical colleges for the second time, rejecting a review petition filed on August 28 by six opposition-ruled states to postpone them in view of the Coronavirus cris.
The review was held in camera in chamber by a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan as mostly done with the review and curative petitions by the judges themselves deciding on the basis of the petition without the assistance of the lawyers, rejecting the plea for an open court hearing and upholding the Court's August 17 ruling not to postpone the two entrance exams.
After a brief sitting without the presence of the lawyers or the petitioners, the Bench found no merit in the petition, ruling that "no case is made out for reconsidering our earlier decision." The JEE(Mains) are already underway while NEET is to start from September 13.
The governments of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry had moved the court to reconsider its decision in the interest of students, asserting that the court had, in its August 17 verdict, ignored "teething logistic difficulties" and failed to secure the students' "right to life" in the wake
They had asked for the exams to be deferred to November and the academic session begin only in January to ensure the students do not lose a year as feared in the Court's ruling. They sought it "in a manner that achieves the twin objectives of ensuring that the academic year of the students is not wasted and their health and safety is not compromised."
The two other judges in the review hearing were Justice Bhushan R Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari, who were also part of the Bench's original judgment. Retired Justice Arun Mishra had headed the Bench that refused postponement of the exams. The review petition was rushed to let the same Bench hear it before Justice Mishra retires, but the Chief Justice of India (CJI) opted to list it before the bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan only on Friday.
Another Bench headed by Justice Bhushan had also rejected postponement of the final year examinations of the Universities on August 28, upholding the University Grants Commission (UGC) directive to complete the exams latest by September 30 or else the students won't get the degrees. The other two judges on that Bench were Justice Subhash Reddy and Justice M R Shah.



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